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!

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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”

The Fort of Gingee

It had been six months since we moved to Chennai and we had already covered the most popular weekend escapes from Chennai, Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram. Now, Chennai does have some really beautiful temples in its vicinity but we were not yet keen on a temple tour. So, the Easter weekend of 2015, leafing through the pages of Lonely Planet, we came across Gingee. It’s description was enough to get our interest going:

Somewhere 37km east of Tiruvannamalai, nature sprinkled a smattering of marbles – rounded boulders and lumpy rocks – in shades of grey, brown and red over the flat green paddies of Tamil Nadu. Then man turned two of these stony protrusions into the Rajagiri and Krishnagiri (King and Queen fort).

It went on to say, “These edifices, poke out of the Tamil plain like castles misplaced by the Lord of the Rings.Continue reading “The Fort of Gingee”

A Lighthouse Moment in Pulicat

About this time last year, in between a horde of working weekends I got a single weekend off. Since we had not been out of town for a long time, my husband suggested that we go to Pulicat for a day trip.

Situated 50 kms north of Chennai, Pulicat is the second largest brackish water lake in India. It is also a well known a bird sanctuary where thousands of migratory birds flock every winter.

Of birds, we didn’t spot any but we were attracted towards the solitary tall lighthouse situated across the creek.

Continue reading “A Lighthouse Moment in Pulicat”

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”