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…

A forest of temples at Prambanan

Continued from my evening experience of watching the Ramayana in Indonesia This was, in fact, my second trip to the Prambanan temple complex in the day. I had paid a visit as a typical tourist earlier in the morning, to take in the magnificent Hindu temples dedicated to the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva…

Watching the Ramayana in Indonesia

As the sun began to set and the yellow electric lights of the theatre came on, there was restiveness in the air. A large group of school children had arrived there a few minutes ago, apparently as part of a cultural excursion. Apart from these giggly kids and their harried teachers, most of the audience…

A quick guide to Borobudur

Although Indonesia is best known for the gorgeous island of Bali, the highlight of my trip to this country was the UNESCO site of Borobudur. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, in the world’s largest Muslim country. What more can I say? The best time to see Borobudur was early in the morning, I…

San Fran’s Famous Five

In this small city by the bay in the west coast of the USA, many believe that dreams come to life. And that has certainly been true of entrepreneurial dreams, beginning from the mid 19th century, when gold hunters from all over the country came here lured by the city’s special sparkle. Almost 150 years…

The Western Wall of Jerusalem: a photoessay

The Western Wall of Jerusalem is just that, a pockmarked limestone wall rising 60ft into the air. It is bleak and imposing, dwarfing the women praying in front of it. The genders are segregated here, as in most other devotional places in Jerusalem; the men and the women on either side of the makeshift barrier…

Kaziranga Chronicles

Woken up at an ungodly hour in the morning by a shrieking alarm clock, I shivered in the icy winter air of Northeast India. My mind entirely focused on the warm bed that stretched out invitingly, I wondered aloud why were we going out into the cold morning in search of the rhinoceros, of all…

5 best traditional breakfast places in Bangalore

Unlike many other Indian cities where breakfast is a grab and run affair, Bangalore has made it an art form. Meet up with friends, sit down together, order a crisp dosa and begin the important business of discussing the world. Wash it all down with piping hot filter kapi. That is what Bangalore breakfast is…