Smooth sailing on Poovar

While in India’s southern tip, a cruise on the backwaters may be de rigueur. But given how popular Kerala is as a tourist destination, it is also a good idea to eschew the familiar for the unexplored. In other words, think Poovar instead of Alleppey, using Trivandrum as a base instead of Kochi. It is…

Storied Mansions

For those of you who wanted more information on Chettinad, here is a complete guide… This appeared in the January issue of National Geographic Traveller… Over a century ago, everyday life in the villages of Chettinad in Tamil Nadu would have been very different. The sounds of women’s anklets, the laughter of children, the aroma…

Breakfast in Bangalore – 3

Another Bangalore favourite this time – Vidyarthi Bhavan – the king of masala dosa since 1943. Go there on a Saturday for the best Bangalore experience. VB is close to the Gandhi Bazaar circle and was initially meant as a mess for students and bachelors living in that old part of Bangalore. And the interiors…

Breakfast in Bangalore – 2

Presenting the second in this series, after MTR – New Krishna Bhavan in Malleswaram. NKB, as it is known, is tucked away in a quiet street near the Mantri Mall and is where the mamas of Malleswaram meet every morning for filter kaapi and local gossip. NKB is a local adda and they acknowledge this…

Breakfast in Bangalore – 1

Lingering over a hot dosa / upma + filter coffee breakfast is one of the simple pleasures of a Bangalore weekend morning. Not so much the lingering in some places but in general, there is an air of what’s-the-big-hurry on these occasions. This being the general air in Bangalore. Which suits me fine sometimes. Just…

Nostalgia

I know it has been a long time since I wrote anything here. After Ooty, I made a day trip to the Cauvery fishing camp at Bheemeshwari and then a three day visit to the Chalukya temples of North Karnataka – Badami, Aihole and Pattadakkal. So expect notes and pics from these trips soon. For…

St. Stephen’s church at Ooty

One of my quick halts at Ooty was at St. Stephen’s Church on the way to Charing Cross. I had been keen to visit the church ever since I had seen photographs of its lovely stained glass windows. The church was almost empty but for a solitary worshiper on the last pew. The late morning…

The rocks that smoke

I should rightly call this piece ‘how not to go to Hogenakkal falls’. For this is an account of a trip to Hogenakkal on a route that did not exist. Early September, very early Sunday morning, mid-monsoon. Three cars, twelve people, three cameras. No food. No maps. And no idea of which direction to take…