• IMG_0136

    Excavating The Story of Sirpur

    For a place named after wealth, Sirpur has clearly witnessed, is witnessing, vastly varying tides of fortune. This is one of myriad thoughts that flit through my mind as I sit watching the third edition of the Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival (16th-18th Jan) unfold before me.

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  • IMG_1531

    Atmospheric Nizamuddin in Pictures

    The mausoleum of Hazrat Nizamuddin sits amidst a labyrinth of really narrow passages which mostly and quite magically lead up to the dargah regardless of where you might be starting out from. Am sharing here a few images that hopefully capture the ambience of the place.

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  • IMG_1557

    Sufi Stirrings

    The Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526CE) is collectively credited for welcoming into its centuries long fold Sufi intellectualism even as the Mongols were busy trouncing it back home in Central Asia. Eventually, the Mongols too pushed their way into Hindustan but by then this mystical tradition of Islam, drawn no doubt in equal part by the spiritual mystique of Bhakti thought, had found a firm foothold. The Sufis of yore were philosophers, scholars and poets of immense note, as much as they were itinerant knowledge seekers who established a number of silsilas (orders) in their adopted homes.

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    Destination Chhattisgarh

    The pocket guide on Sirpur, one in a set of five books on Chhattisgarh, is a milestone of sorts. It’s my first solo-author book for Lonely Planet India and I couldn’t be more chuffed.

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  • IMG_0763

    Birds, Memorials, Pakoras, and stuff

    Shirtless Latinos grappling with chiselled Danes may not be par for the course (perhaps I was the Chosen Few), this still is a favourable period weather-wise to look towards Punjab’s under-celebrated charms. Some of which I explored as unhurried day trips while at a pretty little village in Gurdaspur last month.

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    2015 Ahoy!

    Here’s wishing everyone another fun-filled year on the road. Countless sunrises, unavoidable bends, breathtaking sunsets…and all. To cutting loose endlessly, cheers!

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  • Amaltas_Avenue

    Review: Amaltas Avenue By Manju Jaidka

    Amaltas Avenue, Manju Jaidka’s third novel, is set against a backdrop of campus happenings over a period of three days during a sultry Chandigarh summer. The book focuses on a number of characters who share a common milieu, including the eponymous residential neighbourhood, even as they drift through seemingly ordinary lives, playing out mundane everyday roles at an individual level.

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    Review: The Kothi, Gurdaspur

    The old-worldly Kothi, set at the top end of a tree-lined driveway merging with viridian grounds efflorescent with colour, is a happy marriage between traditional Punjabi and colonial design motifs. It was once part of a rambling ancestral haveli that is today an amorphous result of expanding families and their need for privacy without losing all connectedness.

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  • IMG_0647

    Pastoral Punjab Revisited

    Last week begged for some quality me-time, elsewhere. No sooner (five hours later if truth be had), I found me in Nawanpind Sardaran, a picturesque little canal-side village just off Gurdaspur in north Punjab. It proved to be most rejuvenating of escapes in recent memory, came as it did with oodles of tea, glorious home-cooked food, endless sun-soaks, refreshing morning walks, languorous evening strolls, and mellifluous birdsong. Though nothing can replicate being there in person, through this pictorial post, I attempt to walk you through a day in the life of a Punjab village.

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    Review: Majithia Farm, Kharar

    The expansive Majithia Farm lends itself to a perfect winter weekend–or longer–getaway. Oozing infinite charm and style, it is set to one side of a massive sprawl of undulating landscaped grounds, and is surrounded by acres of rolling fields.

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Travel

IMG_0136

Excavating The Story of Sirpur

For a place named after wealth, Sirpur has clearly witnessed, is witnessing, vastly varying tides of fortune. This is one of myriad thoughts that flit through my mind as I sit watching the third edition of the Sirpur National Dance and Music Festival (16th-18th Jan) unfold before me.

IMG_1531

Atmospheric Nizamuddin in Pictures

The mausoleum of Hazrat Nizamuddin sits amidst a labyrinth of really narrow passages which mostly and quite magically lead up to the dargah regardless of where you might be starting out from. Am sharing here a few images that hopefully capture the ambience of the place.

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goli7

Ab Goli Kha!

It can get awfully frustrating for a foodie who finds herself in lands bequeathed abundantly with innate splendour peopled by a friendly lot yet woefully inadequate far as palate pleasures go. True story from my visit to Chhattisgarh last month.

Pastoral Punjab Revisited

IMG_0647

Last week begged for some quality me-time, elsewhere. No sooner (five hours later if truth be had), I found me in Nawanpind Sardaran, a picturesque little canal-side village just off Gurdaspur in north Punjab. It proved to be most rejuvenating of escapes in recent memory, came as it did with oodles of tea, glorious home-cooked food, endless sun-soaks, refreshing morning walks, languorous evening strolls, and mellifluous birdsong. Though nothing can replicate being there in person, through this pictorial post, I attempt to walk you through a day in the life of a Punjab village.

Read more

Mughal Memorabilia In Punjab

Nur Mahal Grounds

The Mughals left a large and visible footprint in Punjab given its vantage location on their high road from Agra to Kabul, later Delhi to Lahore. Most notable of these structures are from the reigns of Akbar and Jahangir with the latter contributing towards construction of bridges, digging of wells & tanks, and the repair of bridges. Later Shah Jahan would construct and embellish royal structures, serais and roads. Baolis (stepped wells) and traditional wells can still be spotted in close proximity to resting inns and settlements; they once served both man and animal. This harmonious melding of Indian and Persian influences has bequeathed the land with many striking examples of architectural heritage that includes tombs and bridges across perennial streams.

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