Down the Konkan coast to re-discover Maharashtra’s naval forts

The coasts and hills of Maharashtra are dotted with forts. 236 to be exact. Don’t believe me. Check here.

That’s the highest among all the states in India. But unlike the lavish fort-palaces of Rajasthan, the forts of this state are rugged military bastions from which the generations of fierce warriors; the Marathas, the Peshwas, the Siddhis; watched over and guarded their territories from enemies and invaders.

Continue reading “Down the Konkan coast to re-discover Maharashtra’s naval forts”

A weekend in Daman

Our trip to Daman was planned in an hour. It was after a short siesta on a hot May afternoon that our visiting clan from Kolkata hatched the plan to drop into Daman in order break the monotony of the better part of their vacation spent in a sleepy industrial town of Gujarat. The excitement of all but the one who had previously visited the place could only be termed as “irrational exuberance”. Go, we did, and came back with mixed feelings about the place. Continue reading “A weekend in Daman”

The fantastical 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 fantastical Fort of Gingee”

A time machine called Hampi

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 “A time machine called Hampi”

Rann Baby Rann (Little Rann of Kutch)

A few years ago we made a trip to the lesser known cousin of the Great Rann of Kutch, the Little Rann of Kutch. I must admit that it was a case of mistaken identity but after the initial disappointment washed over, we were quite awed by all that the region had to offer in terms of wildlife, history and warm hospitality. Continue reading “Rann Baby Rann (Little Rann of Kutch)”