Friday photo: Bikaner

I recently spent a few days in Bikaner as a guest of the lovely team at Narendra Bhawan (more on that soon) – think piping hot kachoris for breakfast, exquisite Jain temples and opulent havelis. This Friday, a vertical shot of the Rampuria haveli, right at the beginning of our heritage trail that provided a…

A perfect weekend in Ooty and Coonoor

Just a two-hour drive from Coimbatore lies the Nilgiris, also known as the Blue Mountains. Its heart is the hill station of Ooty – an anglicised abbreviation of Udhagamandalam – which is a bustling small city. In contrast, the nearby district of Coonoor offers beautiful heritage buildings and verdant surrounds. Sample both worlds with this…

Friday photo: Feeling Blue

Last month, I got the chance to visit the new St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort in the unexplored southern part of the Maldives. I stayed in one of the overwater villas with a sunset view, with hammocks slung high right over the azure waters. It was a super pampered and relaxed three days, punctuated only…

Agra beyond the classic Taj tour

So you have risen at the crack of dawn and made your sleepy way across the empty streets of Agra to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise. You have followed in the glamorous footsteps of international celebrities, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Oprah Winfrey, for that iconic snapshot on the stone bench facing the edifice. And…

16 in ’16

2016 was a blockbuster travel year for me, where I got to visit eight countries – of them six new ones, and most excitingly for me, both North and South America for the first time! I also got to tick a couple of adventure activities from my list, including paragliding in Uttarkhand and underwater walking…

Wind beneath my wings

The takeoff itself wasn’t particularly tough; it was the decision to board that took courage. This happened on a recent whistle-stop tour of Kumaon’s “lake district,” with Bhimtal as my base. Stopping on the hill roads one evening to stretch my legs, I was drawn to the bustle of people milling around a large parachute…

The Bungalow on the Beach

A few months ago, we went on a road trip through Thanjavur and Kumbakonam, then going up north towards Tranquebar, before finally fetching up at Pondicherry. By the time we – we were tired of the hectic temple visits in and around Thanjavur. And all we wanted to do was put our feet up and…

Conservation, at what cost?

A quick glimpse at a couple of small temples, to continue my series on the recent Tamil Nadu road trip. Our host at the Swamimalai resort, knowing our interest, had recommended them highly for their architectural details (temple carvings mainly). So that evening, we headed to the Pullamangai temple near Ayyampettai, half an hour’s drive…