The sun was bright in the sky and the rippling water reflected it beautifully. The old cottage stood behind me giving a bit of shade from the scorching day. The grass felt soft under my palms as my hands rested on the ground, and I looked out in the distance across the lake. On the other side the hill loomed with thick forest all over it. On top where it was a little less dense, I could spot a few animals standing and chewing on grass. I could barely make out their shapes from that distance. But I knew that they were bison, I had seen them through binocular earlier. A little diagonally from me, a patch of grassland cleared off of any trees sat next to the lake. A group of deer and wild boar roamed that land mingled into each other with a mix of harmony and indifference. There was also a lonely stork sitting at a little distance from the group. I couldn’t tell if it could fly, because it had barely moved from that spot in past one hour. But then again, so had I.complete article
So here we go again – 2019! Another year has come. Another 365 days, another set of same old festivals, one more cycle of going through the motion of life. Usually it’s a joyous time, for me, for everybody. A new year means new promises, hope for endless possibilities. And even though these hopes are broken more often than not, it’s only humane to resurrect them every year and let our heart fantasize for the best and the most exciting. And why not! What’s the point of life without hope!
But this year’s a bit different for me. It’s been hard to say goodbye to 2018. The year had been kind to me. It was year full of changes, excitements and exploration of so many unseen before. I think the best times are the ones that are fastest when it’s present and yet lingers on the longest afterwards. And I had plenty of those this year.complete article
Not all plans are meant to work out. Not all trips turn out the way you wished. Sometimes things work out for better and sometime it leads to some unknown disaster. But most of the time when your plans fail, you are left with disappointment, delight and confusion all at the same time. That is the summary of my seemingly well-planned Bhitarkanika trip. And here’s the full story…complete article
Once upon a time Shimla-Manali were the go to destinations for all hill lovers. It offered serenity of mountain, small town charm, wonderful weather and lot of souvenirs to take home. Today there are too many places we know of, some are more commercialized and some are so secluded that reaching there itself is a task. But if I have to pick a place that has replaced Shimla/Manali of olden times that would be Dharmshala/Mcleodganj. I don’t know many people who has been to Himalaya in recent times and hasn’t been to Dharamshala ever. And so for me it was more of a tick box item to go there and see what the fuss is.
I planned my trip in March, when it was still cold enough to chill and not too cold either, and decided to stay at McleodGanj, which is also referred to as upper Dharamshala. I reached McleodGanj on a Tuesday noon and settled there for next few days exploring nearby attractions and devouring food. If you love hills for its raw beauty, Mcleodganj might not be your choice of destination. The place is very touristy with its sightseeing list, souvenir shops and fancy restaurants. And it probably represent a Tibetan town more than a hill station. During my stay I tried doing the regular sightseeing as per my lazy mind would permit, which means I missed out a few… maybe I missed out more than a few. But I definitely tried a lot of restaurants and found many great options. I will talk about both in this blog.complete article
I am a beach lover who happened to live in Mumbai, just an overnight train journey away from Goa. So naturally I keep heading to one of the many beautiful beaches of Goa every year. But even if you have found your perfect vacation spot, your heart keeps wondering what else is out there. So I jump at the mention of any new beaches nearby and if I hear good reviews about the place I am already packing my bag already.
Varkala was one of such names that I started hearing about since a few years back. I heard people ditching Kovalam and Goa for Varkala, I heard it being compared to Gokarna, I heard about its beauty and charm. And to top it all, I had this sudden realization that this could be a place which is mix of Goa and Kerala – how great would the food be there! Or how the hospitality of Kerala would find harmony with the swag of Goa. Interesting, right? That’s what I thought when I planned my Varkala trip in March this year.complete article
Kasol village had come and gone with little to no impression. The narrow streets crowded with tourists, cafes and souvenir shops lining the road, numerous hotels standing upright between the road and the river – it could have been any hill station. But we were heading towards a different destination. So we went ahead on the meandering road enjoying the tall pine trees and the soothing river down below.
Then came Manikaran. A small pilgrim village famous for its hot water springs. The water is used for pious bath and apparently for boiling rice for the temple as well. For a small patch, the river was lined with houses and hotels on both sides surrounding the Gurudwara. We passed by quickly and stopped a little ahead where the road goes lower and crosses the river by a bridge. The water was cold and the landscape was charming. But we had farther to go.complete article
It was 2007 when I first visited Pondicherry. I was still in college and it was my first trip with friends. We started early in the morning from Chennai with very little money in pocket and a heart full of enthusiasm, travelled for four hours in a crowded bus, roamed around the streets of Pondicherry under a hot sun and retuned back exhausted long after the sunset. Actually it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Probably because I didn’t know that it could be better. The highlight of my trip was the French colony of Pondicherry – I loved the beautiful streets lined with colourful houses and cafes. Neither of which I could enjoy to the full extent.complete article