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Live A Life. Lived A Life. Liva Life!

Hi! How have you been? I’m pretty sure life’s all good and kicking. It’s as exciting as the day before! Waking up, getting ready to jump into traffic, trying to drive and getting ready to jump into the jaws of corporate jungle beasts, wobbling your way through the day, and then getting ready to jump into the deadly evening traffic again, behaving like a drone/worker ant, only to reach home, exhausted, to sleep. EXCITING!

Alright, now that you’re feeling better about your life, let me tell you how I spent a day actually LIVING UP my life! Even if it was for just a day, it felt amazing.

The thing with me is that nothing drives me more than the opportunity to gorge on some absolutely mouth-watering taste-bud-gratifying cuisines. And when such an opportunity came knocking on my door, would I have had the heart to turn it out? Or the tongue? Of course not!

So, on the 17th of April 2013, I set out to discover (and rediscover and revisit) some of the famous eating places in Delhi. And what could’ve been better than going to all these places in the car of a certain Mr. Kohli, who has the entire country’s women drooling over. Yes, you got that right! The all-new Toyota Etios Liva. And boy, was I in for a drive! A pretty smooth one at that.

See, having driven a really small car for almost a decade, I was a bit apprehensive at first when I sat in the car. I found it big! I thought it’ll be difficult to maneuver it and negotiate turns. But it was just my fear. The Liva moved just fine. And there was space inside. A lot of it! Good leg-room. For the front and the rear passengers alike.

Also, being not-so-tall, I felt I might not be able to get a clear view of the road ahead, and won’t be able to see past the hood, that the next surprise popped up. Adjustable seat. Which means I could move the forward/backward, and adjust the height too! Problem solved!

Since the taste-buds were tingling for some good food to be had, I set out for my most favorite place in Delhi to have some scrumptious food – Khan Market.

After struggling a bit to find a comfortable parking spot, I finally parked. Now, if you’re at Khan Market, you know that you’re always spoilt for choice. Whatever you like, you’ll find it all. But, since I had to keep my appetite for the entire day, I decided to go to one of the most famous joints in Khan Market (a place frequented by film and cricket celebrities as well) – Khan Chacha.

So, appetizers done, we were ready to go grab a proper meal, since it was lunch time. But, before that, there was this urge to just take the Liva for a small circular spin around the monument that stands tall and proud, and enchants Delhi – India Gate. So, spin we did. 4 times. Each time more enjoyable than the last. By this time, the Liva and I got to know each other pretty well. The power going from the engine to the wheels was just appropriate. Neither too much nor too less. With an engine that stands at 1197 cc and at almost 79 Bhp @ 5600 rpm, it truly was impressive.

Once again, spoilt for choice, we finally decided that we shall raid Pindi’s. Nice place, quiet feel to it. And awesome food. Mutton kebabs and some butter chicken was had. Along with a cold glass of “Meethi Lassi”! Taste buds satisfied, pretty much! (The happiness is visible on my face, isn’t it?!)

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Connaught Place is my happy hangout area. The color, the people, the pulse, the feel… just about everything is right about it. Didn’t want to leave, but then there was the Liva egging me on to drive her around more. So drive I did! Off to Defence Colony! They serve some really amazing Chinese food there. The momos are TO DIE FOR!

The amazing food-trail wasn’t even close to an end. So, we went to this one particular dhaba that we have kind of claimed our own. There wasn’t enough parking space at that point of time, and I was worried we might not find one. But even though the Liva looks pretty big for a hatchback, I was pleasantly surprised to see how easily it fit into the crammed up parking spots that were somehow vacant. At 3775 mm long and 1695 mm wide, it was pretty easy to slide into the slot. Turning radius of 4.80 meters seemed a lot initially when I went through the specifications, but while on the road, it was a pleasure to maneuver. Add the 170 mm ground clearance, and you’ve got yourself a superb ride! A steal, must say.

So, at the dhaba, we had Mutton Keema Paranthas and Shredded Chicken Paranthas, served hot with dollops of butter, which kind of left us yearning for more. And I could easily accommodate a couple more! So we did! :-D

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Post that, it was time to leave. Dropped off the car, feeling very elated. The drive back in my own small car seemed a bit disappointing. So, the plan is being made, about when to get the Liva for myself!

So, if you feel that your life will suddenly get hot and exciting with women drooling all over you and your car that might be a little too far-fetched to expect, unless you’re a certain Mr. Kohli (as I mentioned earlier!). But for everything else, you’ll be pretty happy with the Liva!

And that’s how I lived the Liva Life for a day! Hope to do this again sometime soon. Join in next time?

Discovering Mumbai’s Shopping Mecca in the Brand New Liva

It had been a crazy hectic month and all I wanted to do was relax while doing things I’ve missed which meant some street shopping was on my radar. Being a fashion blogger comes with its own issues. I love experimenting with trends but that turns out almost detrimental for my bank account! This is when street shopping in Mumbai saves me. So I decided to take a day off and roam around the well-known streets, hoping to find some steal deals as always.

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I headed out with a friend to first hit up my favourite shopping destination, Colaba Causeway. It was a hot summer day; thankfully we had our comfortable Liva to save us from the heat. Listening to our favourite Rihanna song on the stereo, blasting the song loud enough to get the uncle in the next car flustered, we finally made it to our destination! If you’ve been to Causeway before, you know how it’s almost impossible to find parking along those crowded, hustling roads. But for us, it was our lucky day. We found a spot and bid goodbye to our stunning ride for a bit.

After hours of haggling, pushing, searching, spotting, bargaining, we ended up with three bags full of deals which would make any fashion girl envious. Clothes and accessories are usually the things on my to-get list when at Causeway. However this time, I even ventured into home décor and found some incredible pieces – a vintage clock, a miniature auto-rickshaw and a gold globe were some of the goodies I bagged! Thanks to the Liva’s more-than-sufficient boot-space, I had no problems fitting in heaps of bags from my shopping spree.

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Next, we decided to get a drink from the newly opened Starbucks at the iconic TajMahal Hotel right before we left for our next destination. An iced green tea has become my new favourite summer drink!

We then made our way back to our stylish ride. After over 2 hours of walking around, the seats almost felt like a refreshing massage! Next on our agenda was Fashion Street. One of the oldest and the most visited street shopping destinations, it’s always equally crowded during the entire day. I first visited this famous street whilst studying in St.Xaviers College, about 2 years ago. And since then it’s become a regular street shopping stop! Yes I have my favourite stalls, so I usually just go through those and reduce the stress of going through over 150 stalls! Right in the middle of our shopping madness, entered the infamous BMC van which created a hustle amongst the stall owners and we took that as a cue for us to leave.

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It was time to draw the blinds on a day of much fun, splurging, pampering and driving around an iconic city in the brand new Liva. This had been quite an adventure for us. Why do I call it an adventure you ask? Because you never know what you find in Bombay’s treasure trove.

Drive along the ECR with Liva

 

I had the fortune of driving around Etios Liva for a day and I chose to take it on a drive along the East Coast exploring all the spots to see on the famous East Coast Road, that connects Chennai and Pondicherry.

The trip started from Guindy, around 1PM, that was the time the car was available. For some weird reason the roads were jammed around that time, which was a good test for the car’s AC in that scorching sun. Liva passed that test. By the time we hit the ECR, it was around 1:45 PM. Crossing the string of neighbourhoods (Thiruvanmayur, Palavakam, Kottivakam and other ‘vakams’s) and after a small toll of Rs.25 (for two-way) we reached Dakshinachithara, only to find the gates closed and a prominent sign stating “TUESDAY CLOSED”, a point to be noted for future use. Next stop was Covelong/Kovalam beach just after after Muttukadu lake.

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We reached the beach around 2:30PM, wasn’t the best of experience to go to the beach while the hot sun is at its peak. This is one place I’ve never been to before, but thankfully today, I had the time and car to do this.

I especially loved the part after this point, as the car, after being driven for the first 50 kms, started feeling the road, and I started enjoying it. Once I got the hang of the car, I was in total road trip mode, increased the volume and revved the engine. Liva responded beautifully, the 1.2 ltr petrol engine easily taking the car to 100 kmph. We reached Madras Crocodile Bank Trust(MCBT), which is definite no-miss if you are on ECR.

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After spending almost an hour there looking at the magnificent crocodiles, turtles and snakes we rushed in a bit of a hurry to reach Tiger cave and Mahabalipuram. We had to reach Mahabs  before 5:15 PM, as the ticket counters for all monuments close by 5:30 PM in Mahabs, we started off from MCBT.

The handling of the car on the highway, at high speeds, was smooth, the gear shifts were crisp and well designed to be close to the hand. I was able to overtake other slower cars easily, but when it came to overtaking the fast ones on the narrow ECR, I had to downshift for more power and acceleration. The ECR was a pleasure to drive in the evening on a weekday, without much traffic.

We reached Tiger cave by 4:45 PM and went in for a quick look around. One doesn’t need more than 30 minutes to look around in that enclosure. Just behind this enclosure is the beach, where you can spend some more time. These places are not recommended after sunset, as it is dark and unsafe.

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Mahabs/Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram is very close to the Tiger cave, and we reached there within minutes. At the entrance to Mahabalipuram, you need to pay Rs.20 for whatever reason!!

About Mahabalipuram:

Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is one of the 29 UNESCO world heritage sites in India. It is famous for its 7th – 9th century stone carvings from the era of Tamil Pallava dynasty.

Must See:

1      The Shore Temple

2      Five Rathas

3      Arjuna’s Penance

4      Krishna’s Butter Ball

5      Light House (NOT PART OF PALLAVA DYNASTY :) )

For an entire list of things to see – Wiki Travel

NOTE: I could only manage to see a few of these places due to time constraint. Almost all of the monument’s ticket counters close by 5:30 PM. So plan your trip likewise.

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Searching for the way to Shore Temple, I entered a narrow street with colorful houses. I figured there must be an exit somewhere and went on going, only to realize that there isn’t an exit and I had to turn back. The Liva steering is so light and the maneuverability is so impressive, that without any effort I was able to turn the car around and get out of that street.

Once we were done with sight-seeing, we started our drive back to Chennai. I reached Chennai by 8 PM, had a sumptuous dinner and gave the car back.

One of the best ECR experiences I ever had – empty road, great music and a brilliant car!

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 About Joseph  Jayanth:

Joseph Sam Jayanth is an avid traveller, landscape & architecture photographer, blogger and a voracious reader. He mostly loves to travel by car (different cars, all the time), so he not only gets to write about the destinations but also about the cars. One of the reasons he travel is because he  loves to capture beautiful scenes and also to learn about new places – past and present. You can read Joseph’s blogs at http://josephjayanth.com

Exploring Bangalore’s Food Stalwarts On wheels – Photo Blog

Supriya Sehgal at Hotel Ajantha

Supriya Sehgal at Hotel Ajantha – awaiting for her scrumptious lunch

 

Puja Restaurant is a part of Hotel Ajantha, serving some of the best in South Indian cuisine.

Puja Restaurant is a part of Hotel Ajantha, serving some of the best in South Indian cuisine.

 

Setting the right music for the right drive in the new Liva.

Setting the right music for the right drive in the new Liva.

 

All smiles in the new Liva

All smiles in the new Liva

 

Destination - Tindi Beedi (Food Street)

Destination – Tindi Beedi (Food Street)

 

Best Gulab Jamun Stop at Thindi Beedi

Best Gulab Jamun Stop at Thindi Beedi

 

Window shopping for some food at Thindi Beedi

Window shopping for some food at Thindi Beedi

 

Sizzling the 'tawa' for a fresh dollop of Dosa batter.

Sizzling the ‘tawa’ for a fresh dollop of Dosa batter.

 

Dosas by the dozen

Dosas by the dozen

 

Fried Idlis at Thindi Beedi

Fried Idlis at Thindi Beedi

 

Balloons of Hope at Thindi Beedi

Balloons of Hope at Thindi Beedi

 

One of the oldest shops at Thindi Beedi - Started in 1962

One of the oldest shops at Thindi Beedi – Started in 1962

 

Choc a Bloc at Thindi beedi

Choc a Bloc at Thindi beedi

 

No time to rest at Thindi Beedi

No time to rest at Thindi Beedi

 

More fried snack getting in shape at Thindi Beedi

More fried snack getting in shape at Thindi Beedi

 

The New Toyota Liva

The New Toyota Liva

 About Supriya Sehgal:

With a penchant for travelling ‘mapless and ungoogled’, Supriya has willingly got lost a number of times in the most obscure places of India for the last 8 years. She lives on a healthy diet of anecdotes and tea with auto drivers, co-passengers and bewildered locals! Supriya currently runs a Bangalore based travel-photography outfit called Photography Onthemove and has authored two Lonely Planet guidebooks. See her work on www.supriyasehgal.com

 

Exploring Bangalore’s Food Stalwarts On wheels

I squirmed out of the tight row of cars in front of my house and soon joined the funeral-paced menagerie of bikes, chugging autos, music thumping cars and smoke spewing buses! Thank god for the New Liva; Bangalore’s much-dreaded traffic was hardly on my mind. I cranked up the volume of my stereo and was off on a gastronomic outing! It was time to finally sample food from a long list I had chalked out but never managed to visit enough. My freshly acquired parallel parking skills and ofcourse the car’s compact size helped to snugly add myself to the jigsaw parking at Airlines off St. Marks Road, and we were ready to roll.

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Early morning joggers, college bunking gangs and many more sprawled under the banyan shade of two massive trees. Airlines is truly for those who would like to sink into the chair and enjoy the easy vibe of the place. The service is painfully slow but I think that’s just a plan for you to slow down and enjoy the Bangalore weather. Nevertheless, what matters is the food and it’s absolutely delicious! One can dig into South Indian ‘tiffin’ items and wash them down with brilliant coffee! Infact, if you are feeling lazy to step out, there is a drive-in service as well. I downed a coffee after a lazy breakfast of shivage bath and decided to stop next at my all time favourite.

The familiar buzz of chatter hit me as I opened the door. Uniformed waiters flitted around busily, steel trays high above their heads, precariously balancing some of the favourites like mutton cutlets, potato smileys, baked beans, pots of tea and caramel custard. It was my umpteenth trip to this hallmark ‘true Bangalorean’ hangout for authors, artistes, actors and disoriented foreign travellers trying to make sense of the elaborate menu. Yet, the novelty of Koshys had not waned for years. It was easy to get consumed by the intellectual buzz. With minimum aesthetic infusions like Bangalore in black & white photographs and an old aquarium, the legacy of Koshys never seems to diminish. I picked up some more food aficionado friends from Koshys, and soon the Liva was like a restaurant review on wheels. With a hungry co-pilot in the front and four others at the back, animated discussion on the best lunch places in town was imperative.

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Though we had packed in quite a bit, I didn’t want to miss lunch at this complete blind spot off M.G Road- the Puja Restaurant at Ajantha hotel. M.G road always requires my full attention and I always feel safer if able to see the front of my car. I was happy that the Liva allows one to adjust the seat’s height as well; I could well imagine why other small built drivers would love this feature. Marginally less than five decades old, Puja is a haven for those who like South Indian meals. You will observe nods, waves and smiles of familiarity between the staff and visitors, automatically getting pulled into an endearing ambience. The food? Get down and dirty with scoops of rice, mish-mashed with sambar, rasam, upp saaru and avare kal complemented by a sweet and pickles. What I loved about Puja the most was the fact that it was so centrally located, and yet so elusive on Bangalore’s food map

After a whole lot of South Indian delights, I was up for a challenge with the mightiest burger in town. Peppa Zzing on Infantry road has definitely notched up the game of burgers with their Whammy and Monster options! A ridiculously big, thick and juicy burger arrived at the table and I devoured it with vigour, ofcourse with my ever-enthusiastic team of food lovers! With its bright red interiors, warm service and an elaborate choice Peppa Zzing is a brilliant place to end the shopping spree at Commercial Street.

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With the car parked in the sun, I dreaded the hot gust of air that welcomes you when you open the door and manically wave it out by of the windows. To my surprise, the AC of the Liva worked fabulously and was able to cool the car in no time. The light was fading and I had to whizz quickly to see the snacks shop emerge at VV Puram’s famous Theendi Beedi. It’s quite amazing that even after being packed with an overfed bunch of us, this diesel variant of Liva picked up speed quickly and strongly, something that I otherwise face trouble with everyday.

The 300 meters stretch of ‘eat street’ (officially Old Market Road) starts stirring with activity at 6.30pm and soon becomes a bustling mass of people hollering for their chaat orders, making a beeline for sinfully (but yummy) oily snacks, paper dosas and sweets. The rush swells after 8pm and the place is kicking until 11pm. I maneuvered the car past balloon sellers, fruit-wallahs and a mass of deliriously gastro-happy folks to park and then pecked my way through all the shops.

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As the day closed, a dinner place was yet to be sampled and I wanted to try something from the coast. Mangalore Pearl has always been a veritable option for meals: brightly lit, high-stools for toddlers, impeccable service and a variety of goodies from the shore make this an ideal haunt for families. Besides you can be engaged with coastal Karnataka themed graffiti on all the walls by famous cartoonist, Prakash Shetty, and an intriguing Hollywood actors collage in a corner. I was so absorbed by the renditions of Kambala buffalo races, Huli Vesha (Tiger dance) and more that I barely realized when I had finished my glass of Sol Kadi. Highly recommended, this is a delicious concoction of cocum and curd but looks like a strawberry milkshake.  Sea-food aficionados are going to love this one.

A gastronomic trip around Bangalore is never complete without swinging by the ice-cream haven Corner House. The place has been a ‘after dinner’ favourite since the 1980s. Not only are the ice-creams wonderful, old pictures of Bangalore (think empty streets, carriages, and the colonial charm intact) add a nostalgic touch to the well-lit interiors.  It was the last stop on my ‘yummy your tummy’ day, so it had to be strawberries and cream; I parked Death by Chocolate and the caramel custard for another day! Incidentally, Corner House is one of the few places in Bangalore where one can get sugarless ice cream too

It had been a truly ‘fulfilling’ day but the Liva had to be unfortunately return to its showroom. So I unwillingly tore myself from the comfortable interiors and bid adieu to the snazzy set of wheels.

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My Bio – With a penchant for travelling ‘mapless and ungoogled’, Supriya has willingly got lost a number of times in the most obscure places of India for the last 8 years. She lives on a healthy diet of anecdotes and tea with auto drivers, co-passengers and bewildered locals! Supriya currently runs a Bangalore based travel-photography outfit called Photography Onthemove and has authored two Lonely Planet guidebooks. See her work on www.supriyasehgal.com.

Liva Life with Priyanka Blah

Bangalore has been my home for the past nine years and I’d always thought there were only so many facets to the IT capital of our country. Never one to give up, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and re- discover the city for myself. Until recently I had heard very little about the historical side to this city – the cantonment, a summer palace, lot’s of temples and such; nothing that excited me enough to put on my adventure/discoverer shoes and get out. But all that changed when I overheard a friend (of a friend) talk about Kempegowda I and his vision for Bengaluru. As I was drawn into the conversation, the rest of the group did recollect the tower that Kempegowda I successor, Kempegowda II had built at the top of a rock in Lalbagh. We were corrected by this friend and promptly told about four towers. Where were these four towers, lost in this rapidly growing, progressive city? So I went out and found them.

When I heard about #LivaLife with the “brand new Liva”, my natural reaction was to chuckle a little bit. I mean, how brand new can it get? Turns out, pretty brand new! My only frame of reference was, of course, the older version of the car which I had my qualms with. So I set out to find Kempegowda II’s four towers while in the new Toyota Etios Liva, rediscovering the corners of the city I didn’t know existed.

First stop – Kempe Gowda Tower, Lalbagh

Lalbagh.  That side of town is not one I would voluntarily venture into; insane traffic congestions, bumpy roads, and way too many people. As I was planning the route, I was apprehensive, given how I’m not used to the car and navigating a new car through those roads sounded just a wee bit scary. Having said that, when I pulled the car out of the showroom on Museum Road, I realized this was going to be a smooth ride.

Priyanka Blah with the new Liva @ Lalbagh

The New Liva  petrol version drives smooth as a whistle. Navigating my way through Residency Road and then on to Double Road was easier than I thought. One of the first things I noticed on the way to Lalbagh was the fact that the Liva was extremely easy to handle. The steering wheel has a solid grip, the power-steering has a quick and easy response and the weight of the car is just about adequate, making it a zippy ride through city traffic.

Getting to Lalbagh was a breeze…well, easier than I thought. The Kempe Gowda tower rested on top of the massive rocks, set ablaze by the harsh mid-day sun. There’s a great view of Bangalore’s skyline after a quick walk to the top. I spent a few minutes walking around, observing the structure, taking in the view of the grounds around Lalbagh, and a drink to cool off and I was back in the Liva, ready to hit the next of the 4 towers.

Second stop – Kempe Gowda Tower, Chamrajpet

Cruising out of Lalbagh, I found myself driving through a part of the city I hadn’t seen before. The drive was relatively peaceful with no surprises, just the usual winding roads, potholes, crazy traffic, two- wheelers switching lanes at the speed of lighting and me, driving through it all with the windows rolled up, the air conditioner keeping my brain cool and some nice music playing on the new stereo system. The music system in the new Liva is particularly interesting.

It comes with a USB and Aux input in addition to a Bluetooth enabled feature that plays out audio from any Bluetooth enabled device, a feature that was not available in the older version

Now my companion on this trip and I had discussed how this leg was going to be the toughest of the four towers to track down. It proved to be exactly that. Getting past the now done-up part of Bull Temple Road saw us in a totally different side of Bangalore. Little temples around every corner, flower shops, little uphill streets, winding roads – not something you commonly see in urban Bangalore. We found the Kempambudhi lake with a little effort but then got lost with odd directions from the locals to find the tower. We found it eventually nestled picturesquely between two big rocks behind a temple but it was disheartening to find so much litter on the stairs leading up to this tower. An effort to keep the approach clean might help encourage more people to visit this tower. That was another place I managed to cross off the list. It was time to hop back into the Liva and head toward Mekhri Circle for stop 3 of my journey.

History recap: It is said that Kempe Gowda got the vision of building a big futuristic city during a hunting expedition near Shivasamudra (near Hesaraghatta) near Bangalore. He envisioned the city to have a fort,

a cantonment, tanks (water reservoirs), temples and people of all trades and professions to live in it. He conquered Sivaganga principality, 30 miles from Bangalore on Bangalore-Poona Hwy. Next he annexed Domlur which is on the road from Bangalore to the old Bangalore Airport. Within this vast forest area, with the necessary Imperial permission of the Vijayanagar Emperor, Achyutharaya (Dasarahalli record dated 1532) he built the Bangalore fort and the town in 1537 A D. and moved his capital from Yelahanka to the New Bangalore.

Third stop – Kempe Gowda Tower, Sadashiv Nagar

Inscription at the Kempegowda Watch Tower @ Sadashiv Nagar

One thing this car made me realize was that it made getting around the city a much faster process. While driving through the super-crowded roads of Townhall, I noticed the quick response time on the brake and clutch. No lag, no struggle. Driving in bumper to bumper traffic really does require this and I was pleasantly surprised. The one feature that I was very thankful had been modified in this Liva was the reverse gear. In the earlier variant, the reverse gear required one to pull up a knob and switch to
1st gear position in order to reverse. I found this a little difficult as it took too much getting used to. I was happy to find that in the new Liva, the reverse gear was the normal shift, making it so much easier. Pulling into the park at Sadashiv Nagar where the tower is located a stone’s throw away from Mekhri Circle was a change from the previous two locations. This part of Bangalore is surprisingly green, quiet and very clean. Set amidst bougainvillea trees and a pebbled pathway, this tower was the best kept and by far the cleanest.

A view of the Kempegowda Watch Tower

The tower itself is well kept apart from a few pieces of the sculpture broken off. After spending some time walking around, enjoying the peace and quiet in the middle of the city, I decided it was time to cover that last leg before sundown. I’d even decided that on this leg of the trip, I’d like to take a
backseat and get driven for a change!

Final stop – Kempe Gowda Tower, Ulsoor Lake

Being driven in the new Liva, I realized it was one of the few times I’ve let someone else drive! Anyway, I quite enjoyed the break and was able to experience the ample cabin-space I had heard so much about. Ample leg room, adjustable head rest on the back seats and enough utility space for storage (bottle, glass, phone, etc). Also, decent enough suspension and not as bumpy as I thought…or maybe I just had a fantastic driver! On reaching the Kempe Gowda tower in Ulsoor, I was a little taken aback to find that since the tower was located within defense premises, we were not allowed inside. However, we did catch a glimpse of it resting atop a huge rock, set against the background of a glistening lake. This time of the year, Ulsoor Lake looks particularly charming. After that brief stop, it was time to get back into the driver’s seat (I find it hard to stay away from it). I skirted around the lake and was on my way to leave this little dynamite back at the showroom.

The new Toyota Liva pulled over for a pit-stop

Pulling over to recap the changes I had noticed in the new Liva, I pulled a drink out of the “cool box”, the Liva’s interesting new feature, which keeps beverages cool by allowing the ac air to come into the glove box through a vent inside (ideal for that long road trip). So yes, that’s one interesting feature, although I wish it chilled the beverage a little more, maybe I’m just being a little spoilt!

At the end of my day Kempegowda II’s four towers gave me perspective on how this city has grown. He, in the 1500’s, envisioned a city with its lakes, markets, cantonment, and the city itself to be contained within these towers. Bangalore or Bengaluru as how it’s known now has spread out and covered an immense amount of land to accommodate its 8+ million inhabitants. The good thing about the city is that it’s spread out and not grown vertically as there’s no constraint for space. If there’s one thing the visionary Kempegowda would regret about this growth now is most probably the dying lakes and the green cover of the city.

Features to watch out for:

  • New seats with adjustable/removable headrest
  • Indicators on side view mirrors
  • Wood finish interiors
  • Bluetooth enabled music system
  • New front grille
  • Improved reverse gear mechanism
  • Cooling glove box
  • Increased utility space

 

About Priyanka Blah:

Everyone has an obsession…sometimes more than one. For Priyanka, music and travel take precedence over everything (except food). She has dabbled in various things the last 10 years and has now decided to stay rooted in music and writing, invariably sneaking travel into her plans. Originally from the beautiful hill station of Shillong in the North East, Priyanka’s love for the outdoors, food and music is therefore self-explanatory. In her “spare time”, she writes some poetry as well: waywordblah.wordpress.com

Fortuner favours the bold!

It’s not the destination but the route that matters, proved the Toyota Fortuner 4WD Bootcamp 2011 held at Bangalore. Traversing through the pits, mud waters, steep inclines and the heights, it wasn’t just another day but a day well spent. The excitement that began on seeing the adventurous venue arranged, lived on until finishing the final circle.

Welcome to the Toyota Fortuner Bootcamp

Welcome to the Toyota Fortuner Bootcamp

What happened in between was a series of adrenalin pumping stunts by numerous Fortuners over tough terrains, surviving areas that nothing else could have. There were several dangerous places where the Fortuner just powered through fairly easy. There were climbs that were almost straight up that the Fortuner tackled easily. Mud covered the entire vehcle, and the tires were riding about halfway down in the dirty stuff.

Splashing an adventure

Splashing an adventure

Several Fortuner enthusiast took turns to experience the action with the assigned experts. The experts with experienced knowledge on the finer details of off-roading guided the drivers on when to get the acceleration going and when to hit on the brakes. More than adventure, it turned to be an opportunity for the Fortuner owners to discover the endless possibilities of their own vehicle. Reliability, durability, ruggedness, stamina, speed, handling, comfort, flexibility and usability of the Fortuner was put to test and every Fortuner turned out to be a winner.

Lining up for the challenge

Lining up for the challenge

Testing the waters (literally!)

For all those who could not make it to the Toyota Fortuner 4WD bootcamp, we have the driver’s seat view with Mr. Jiveshdeep Singh Sandhu (Dy. Brand Manager SUV/MOV) on the wheel and Mr. Mihir Mukadam from Autocar India as the 4 wheel drive expert guiding him. Listen to his expert comments and watch the other expert handle the wheel.

Continuing with the second leg of the journey with the slightly advanced obstacles on the circuit. We continue with Mr. Jiveshdeep Singh Sandhu steering the Toyota Fortuner and Mr. Mihir Mukudama at his side.

Toyota Fortuner’s youngest fan

We have had a lot of people come in for the Toyota Fortuner 4WD bootcamp that was held at Bangalore.There was one particular fan that caught our eye, little Shreyas. Shreyas was not only excited to be at the bootcamp but was just as eager when we asked him if we could talk to him and make a video. When asked if he drove the Toyota Fortuner, he timidly said that he did not have a license yet but he really enjoyed the ride in one with his father (DGM Marketing Toyota, Mr. Sanjay Gupta).