Bargaining at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

Istanbuls’ Grand Bazaar, or Kapalıçarşı (meaning ‘covered market’) speaks directly to every Indian’s heart. Over 550 years old, this market has over 3000 shops inside a large covered area. Everything that a tourist needs – or doesn’t really need but will buy anyway at great cost – is to be found here. Carpets, silver jewellery,…

Friday photo: Istanbul

I’ve been there twice and it remains one of my favourite cities (see, this is the second time it’s been on the Friday photo series) – I wouldn’t mind going back. To Istanbul. Apart from all the glorious attractions like the Aya Sofya, the Blue Mosque and a ride on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is enchanting…

Friday photo: Turkey

This Friday, an image of the whirling dervishes of Turkey. And my story on them from a long time ago in Mint Lounge – read Outwhirling the dervish. Also see: Friday photo series

Turkish beauty

The women of Turkey must be among the most beautiful in the world. Unlike their brash men, the women are simple and graceful and shy. Some of them initially come across as gruff but if you persist and manage to wrangle a smile, then you will see their face light up. Turkey is a patriarchal…

In praise of the Dondurma

Turkey has no paucity of desserts – the gooey chewy Turkish delight, the crumbly Kadayif, the sinful irresistible Baklava. But the most interesting of them must be the Dondurma, the local ice cream. Dondurmasi, ice cream vendors can be found on all the streets of Istanbul, usually playing tricks on their unsuspecting buyer. Wikipedia tells…

Istanbul: top 10 attractions

I am thinking today of one of my favourite cities – it is almost two years since I visited Turkey and I have written a lot about Istanbul here in the past. Istanbul is also the European Capital of Culture for 2010 – so I decided to write again about the city before the year…

Turkish delights

“I am not a terrorist or a thief, I am only trying to help you”. This is a new one. Walking through the Sultanahment area on a autumn morning, I am stopped (is the word accosted?) by many men offering their ahem, services – from proposing to act as unauthorized guide inside the Topkapi Palace…

Outwhirling the dervish

Published in Mint Lounge as Going round in circles… She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl. I cannot get this line out of my head and to my complete dismay, I find myself mentally humming the rest of the song as I watch the four Mevlevi spin in front of me. I mean,…