A Thriller in the Backwaters

The beautiful state of Kerala along India’s south western coastline is an ever popular tourist destination. However, come monsoon and it’s palm lined beaches, lush hill stations and emerald backwaters wear a desolate look.

Monsoon is grave matter in Kerala. It rains so heavily that even the mythical King Mahabali remembers to carry an umbrella for his annual visit to his beloved kingdom during the festival of Onam that falls in the middle of the monsoons. No Kidding!

IMG_0059
The Beautiful Backwaters of Kerala

But every second Saturday of August, the town of Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha) – the de facto capital of Kerala’s backwater country is abuzz with tourists, the rain notwithstanding. Thousands of visitors; local as well as foreign; flock to this “Venice of the East” to watch what is arguably the biggest water sport event in India – The Nehru Trophy Boat Race – commonly known as the Snake Boat Race. Continue reading “A Thriller in the Backwaters”

Chandor – Off the beaten track in Goa

When planning a trip, we always try to go off the beaten track and explore places that have been hitherto overlooked. Hence, when it was time to visit Goa; probably the most over-exposed destination in whole of India; I desperately tried to find a side of Goa that is still untouched. Some research led me to Chandor, a lush village 15km away from Margao. I was intrigued when I read about it’s string of colonial-era mansions belonging to Goa’s former landowners who found favour with the Portuguese aristocracy. Continue reading “Chandor – Off the beaten track in Goa”

Hampi : A trip to the fantastical past

It was probably in my fifth or sixth standard history class that I first came to know about Hampi.

I remember being wonderstruck by the black and white picture of the bird’s eye view of Hampi as the teacher proceeded to tell us about the capital city of the once powerful Vijayanagara Empire that was lost till its ruins were discovered. For my naive mind, the tale of a 600 year old city with its ornate temples, grand palaces, imposing gates, bazaars consisting of straight parallel rows of shops, tanks and bathing ghats still intact was like the proverbial time machine. All I wanted to do was to ride that time machine for a glimpse of the fantastical past. Continue reading “Hampi : A trip to the fantastical past”

Chettinadu Chaska

An overnight train journey from Chennai brought us to Chettinad.

The name Chettinad is synonymous with spicy aromatic food prepared from freshly ground masalas. However, it was not food that had brought us there but stories about the grand mansions of Chettiars.

Continue reading “Chettinadu Chaska”