An offbeat trek in Kamarajar valley Tamil Nadu

“What do you plan to do tomorrow? The jacuzzi walk or the waterfall trek?” Mr. Ge, the Dutch owner of Double Dutch resort looks at me inquisitively, as if knowing the answer. In the background, the sun sets over the placid waters of the Kamarajar lake, with the verdant Palani hills surrounding it.   On […]

Exploring Valparai : an offbeat gem of Tamil Nadu

As the bus takes a turn around the sharp winding curve, I stick my head out of the window, awed. The breeze hits my face and my hair are in a complete disarray. No stress. Because nothing matters now. The view ahead of me is spectacular. We are en route Valparai in Tamil Nadu and […]

The Bon Fiction chocolate factory experience: Bean to Bar

It felt like a dream. Melted chocolate churned in mammoth machines. In a cooler room Harini collected the oozing chocolate in a mould while in another room, chocolate bars were being wrapped in chic, black Bon-Fiction wrappers. The chocolate fragrance was inviting and I was here, living my Charlie in the Chocolate factory dream, at […]

Vocal for Local: Local arts and crafts of India

In a tiny town called Pipli in Odisha, last December, I struck a conversation with a stranger who sat on a tailoring machine, stitching colourful pieces of Appliqué together. We spoke about handloom, the diminishing commercial value of arts and crafts in India, faith, life and parted with smiles and warm hearts. Two weeks before […]

Offbeat Kodaikanal experiences

I look out of the window, battling the forest chill as we ascend gradually towards Kodaikanal. My hand now freezing as I try to capture the mesmerising winding curves in all futility. At every turn, the scene darkens and the forest appears more mysterious than ever. I refuse to shut the window, to see the […]

Mansions of Karaikudi in Chettinad

My voice echoed across the deserted corridor. The only noise is of the sweeping footsteps of the caretaker of this Chettinad mansion in Karaikudi. Numerous colourful pillars flank the enormous courtyard as the scorching sun bakes the already scalding floor, devoid of cover.     The stone pillars were freshly painted and they shone in a […]

Doors Of Southern India: A journey with Tata Pravesh

We travel to learn and sometimes, unlearn. We travel to open the doors to the unknown and cherish the known. There are explorations that we undertake to know a region well, to get acquainted with a different culture, to meet people, to gorge on delectable food. Then there are explorations that revolve around unearthing the […]

Majestic temple ceilings from India

Whoever said temples were only for worship was absolutely wrong. Indian temples have breathtaking architecture, most of them built years ago. Most kings built temples in their kingdom with utmost precision and meticulous care. There are innumerable temples, depicting various architectural styles, each having a distinct flavor: the minaret styles of the Jat architecture, the […]

Barsey Rhododendron Trek in West Sikkim

It was pouring non stop. The wind mercilessly lashing on the tents. I tossed in my sleeping bag, rather uncomfortably waiting for the rain to stop but the rain gods in the Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary clearly had other plans. It has been one year. Exact one year since I embarked on my first ever overnight Himalayan trek, […]