Top 10 posts

Top ten posts of August 2021

The jury is out. I am so grateful to see the blog teeming with readers and comments and travel seems to be on everyone’s mind, even if it’s virtually at this point in time. Travel stories from both India and abroad, latest posts and old ones, tips, and recommendations – these have made it to the top 10 last month. I decided to do a quick summary for those who may have missed it and would like to read it at their own convenience.

1. A visit to Warangal Fort and Ramappa Temple

The Pesarattu Dosai arrived piping hot on my table. It was golden brown in colour, garnished with onions, and was laced with a variety of chutneys. The waiter beamed as he served us with a bit of a flourish. We reached out to dip in the sambar and bite into the red hot chillies and lost ourselves in the spicy flavours that our taste buds discovered. For a moment, we forgot the crowd around us , the clutter of vessels, and the loud voices. We were in a nondescript but hygienic hotel in Warangal town and on a road to Warangal Fort or Warangal Kota as its called and Ramappa Temple. Read More 

2. Ten Reasons to Visit Chennai

Madras University

The Senate House of University

It is a city that always tugs at my heartstrings even though I do not live there anymore. And yet Chennai or Madras where I was born and bred is the city I call home.  The lure of the city is so strong that even though I live 360 kms away in the neighbouring state, I visit my home town every month and bask in its warmth.  My life is a tale of many cities, but it is Chennai that I proudly wear on my sleeve. For the first 21 years of my life, I barely left its shores, but eventually I did, only to come back again and again. Chennai to me has never been a “tourist” destination. It is home and yet as I return every month, I discover a new facet to it and explore it with a “tourist’s” eye. Read More

3.48 hours in Edinburgh

You cannot resist the Scottish melody.  Rising up from the hills, flowing down the fields, ringing across the Lochs , reaching into towns and villages, the bagpiper lures you with his tunes. I stopped in the middle of the journey in Edinburgh just to hear him busking, his song transporting me to a different era Knights , warriors, poets and ghosts visit you from every lane of Edinburgh.  There is so much to do , so much to absorb and just so much to live it up here and there are so many best places in Edinburgh which need to be explored. And as you down a glass of Scotch, you hear stories of ghosts haunting the town. I travel for culture and stories, for fun and relaxation and for food and drink. And Edinburgh promises me all of these experiences. The Medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town charm you for Edinburgh is always celebrating – the Fringe Festival, the International Festival, the International Book Festival among others. However if you are spending just 48 hours in Edinburgh,  here are some of the places to see in Edinburgh . From whisky tours to literary tours, there is something for everybody and here are some of the top things to do in Edinburgh. Read More

4. Five experiences in Kannur that you must not miss

In a land steeped in football where Che Guevara has more posters than Mohanlal or Mammooty, I discovered history, beaches and traditions that fascinated me.  Temples, churches, cemeteries and forts greet me as we drove around Mahe, Thalassery and Kozhikode. There is a unique blend of colonial influence and rustic charm, even as French Pondicherry meets Malabar Kerala and the entire region is steeped in legends and history. There are so many places to see in Kannur, starting with the scenic beaches in Kannur and the formidable Kannur fort. Read More

5.Diamond Triangle Of Odisha 

A carving of Buddha in Ratnagiri

On a pleasant wind swept morning, I followed the footsteps of the ancient Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang or Xuanzang as he was called and found myself driving towards the Diamond Triangle of Odisha from Bhubaneshwar, a distance of about 100 kms. An ideal day trip from Bhubaneshwar, While there are several ancient temples of Bhubaneshwar that beckon heritage enthusiasts, there are many monasteries and stupas tucked away in Odisha .  I am referring to the Buddhist triangle of Odisha – Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Udayagiri  which are hills filled with ancient archaeological sites excavated rather recently. Read More

6. Places to see near Warangal 

The journey became the destination. As we went on a road trip from Hyderabad to Warangal, we drove through different towns and villages and each one had a story. There are so many places to see near Warangal, starting from the recent UNESCO Heritage Site – Ramappa Temple to the Laknavaram Lake or Cheravu built by the Kakatiyas.  There are 13 islands in Laknavaram Lake and it is surrounded by forests and waterfalls. Both Ramappa Temple and Laknavaram are barely 30 kms from each other and are some of the popular tourist places near Warangal. Read More

7. Ten Old Eateries in Chennai you must not miss

Madras Day Chennai

Food trail in Sowcarpet and Mylapore

I decided to get all nostalgic and celebrate by heading to some of the oldest Chennai eateries that we personally like and recommend. They are not the typical Chennai restaurants but they specialize in traditional food. I am not too much of a lunch or a dinner person, but as a kid, it is the tiffin that has always fascinated me . So I decided to stick to just places we would go for breakfast or for a quick evening meal .  Read More

8. A glimpse of Teej Festival in Jaipur 

Hawa Mahal is teeming with foreigners who seem to be waiting for the procession to begin. I look out of the many arches and see the dark clouds surrounding the city, announcing the impending rain. After all, Teej Festival Rajasthan is celebrated in the monsoons. As we step outside to photograph the façade, the rain tumbles down, drenching us to the bone. A local shopkeeper shows us a small pathway that leads to a flight of steps that takes us to his shop. He senses my disinterest but offers to let me photograph the entire façade of Hawa Mahal from the balcony. Read More

9. Unique Things to do in London

It is wet and cold on a late autumn afternoon and I am introduced to the typical weather in London. But am lost in the quaint dark and gloomy charm of  Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, one of the oldest pubs located in Fleet Street in London.  This is the first of the many unusual London experiences that I have in this city.  I realize that I am on hallowed ground. Frequented by none other than the likes of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Oliver Goldsmith, Lord Tennyson and PG Wodehose, the pub was also associated with Polly the parrot as well.  Built after the Great Fire in 1666, it was earlier known as Horn Tavern in 1538 and in the medieval era it used to be a Carmelite Convent. The six-tiered pub is more like a museum and a monument and the smallest room next to the entrance is almost devoid of natural light. Even today the vaults of the pub remind you of the medieval era while the wooden furniture smacks of the Victorian period. There is even a reference to the pub by Charles Dickens in his novel, The Tale of Two Cities. Pub hopping in Fleet Street is one of the unique things to do in London and combined with history and literature, it makes for a fascinating experience. And as I spend a day in London, I am lost in a different world. Read More 

10. Five reasons to visit Istanbul

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Blue Mosque – Istanbul

There is a sense of timelessness when you visit Istanbul. The magical confluence of the East and West can be experienced here as you can see layers of history unfold in every nook and corner. As dervishes swirl, you are swept away into a bygone era. There are many reasons to visit Istanbul – from its rich cultural diversity to its bustling markets, from the delicious culinary heritage to the vibrant local life, from traditional Turkish hospitality to the cheap hotels. The rich tapestry of history can be seen in the sights and sounds and in the many places to visit in Istanbul. While there are many things to see in Istanbul, it is the vibe that fascinates me. There is something special about Istanbul and personally, it is unlike any other city that I have been to. You almost feel like you have experienced many cities in just a single visit. Here are my five reasons to visit Istanbul , Read More

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *