• IMG_0028

    Kathakali: Behind The Tirashila

    With cyberspace all abuzz with the recently concluded Onam celebrations, and sadya images flooding timelines, I am reminded of another enduring Kerala tradition, that of performing arts. During a fabulously timed visit last month (you know, back in the day when it wasn’t all dry), with an evening to spare, and encouraged by the friendly people at my hotel, I found myself part of a motley audience at the Kerala Kathakali Centre in Fort Kochi.

    Read more »
  • 20140803_140248-001

    Chittoor Kottaram: Fairytale Setting

    So you’ve kissed many a frog–chewed on lightly sautéed frogs-legs too as a believer of modern-day fairy tales–and eventually stumbled upon Prince Charming. You’re now planning to perhaps clang away in a vintage car, walk hand-in-hand into a rose-hued sunset, or charge off on a white steed to a happily ever after. Before that, live that romantic fairytale a little longer–the regal way–at Chittoor Kottaram, a royal rest-a-while tucked away amidst a glorious verdure.

    Read more »
  • IMG_0056

    Eat-Treats In Kerala

    It was with happy anticipation I had looked towards my trip to Kerala, recently concluded. Not least for the eating I hoped to experience; also for the breathtaking splendour of the tropical frondescence that the monsoon months accord it. Little wonder this period, karkidakam in local parlance, is considered most suitable for rejuvenating therapies. Having had a first-row view of it, I will never tire of saying this – it is the rainy season which truly underscores this coastal land’s validation for the ‘God’s Own Country’ moniker.

    Read more »
  • IMG_0142-001

    Experience Punjab On The Road

    Punjab, long reviled for dusty flatlands and merciless summers, quite marvelously lends itself to splendid driving holidays. Not despite but because of said plains.

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  • Common Leopard is found aplenty

    GHNP: Eco-treasure Trove

    The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), covering an area of over 750 square kilometres, is located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, and is naturally hemmed in and shielded by snow covered ridges on three sides. It is contiguous with the Rupi Bhaba Wildlife sanctuary to its south-east, Pin Valley National Park to the north-east and Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary in the north. Together, these areas constitute the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area – not just India’s youngest National Park, but also the nation’s most recent UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Site (WHS).

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  • IMG_0002

    Monsoons Ahoy!

    If the rains won’t come to you, then you must go to the rains. It is that simple really.

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  • Kailash One hillside

    Kailash 1 (One), Dalhousie

    Kailash 1 is part of a cluster of three cottages by the same name, and sits prettily in the middle overlooking the magnificence of the snowy Pir Panjals beyond a deep valley. Located far from the madding crowd at Upper Bakrota, Dalhousie’s most alpine hill, this colonial-era cottage is your answer to a home-away-from-home.

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  • 032

    Review: Darang Tea Estate, Dharamsala

    The privately-held Darang Tea Estate, roughly midway between Palampur and Dharamsala, is synonymous with warmth, hospitality and heavenly home-grown, home-cooked organic food. For pretty much every ingredient that goes into your meals comes freshly produced from their farm: fruits, vegetables, juices, dairy products, you name it.

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  • Ballyhack Cottage

    Review: Ballyhack Cottage, Shimla

    The Ballyhack Cottage is arguably the best located property on Shimla’s famed Ridge – adjoining the Christ Church and minutes from the buzz of the Mall. Recently rebuilt, this five bedroom home has managed to tastefully incorporate the burnished wood sounds, smells and sights that usually age would accord such a place. It is, after all, set within the premises of the oldest surviving house built by the British, said to have been commissioned for then Governor General, Lord Amherst in 1826.

    Read more »
  • 4R3

    Gunehar: Where & Why

    On a visit to Palampur last summer, at the urging of those at Norwood Green I found myself headed for a day-trip to village Gunehar, hitherto unheard of. Located in close proximity to Bir, largely known as a paragliding destination when twinned with Billing – an activity I have not yet had the desire (read courage) to experience. You see, my sense of adventure extends far beyond the pale, to the palate. Wolfing down meals at all sorts of dubious places works just as well for me, if not my innards. Indeed my aim even that day last year was to locate this cafe, supposed haven of culinary treats that its owner Frank Schlichtmann created himself. In that sense, it was a wasted effort; a hot coffee and hurried chat across the cab boot was all I got.

    Read more »

Travel

IMG_0028

Kathakali: Behind The Tirashila

With cyberspace all abuzz with the recently concluded Onam celebrations, and sadya images flooding timelines, I am reminded of another enduring Kerala tradition, that of performing arts. During a fabulously timed visit last month (you know, back in the day when it wasn’t all dry), with an evening to spare, and encouraged by the friendly people at my hotel, I found myself part of a motley audience at the Kerala Kathakali Centre in Fort Kochi.

20140803_140248-001

Chittoor Kottaram: Fairytale Setting

So you’ve kissed many a frog–chewed on lightly sautéed frogs-legs too as a believer of modern-day fairy tales–and eventually stumbled upon Prince Charming. You’re now planning to perhaps clang away in a vintage car, walk hand-in-hand into a rose-hued sunset, or charge off on a white steed to a happily ever after. Before that, live that romantic fairytale a little longer–the regal way–at Chittoor Kottaram, a royal rest-a-while tucked away amidst a glorious verdure.

Latest in Books

Latest in Food

IMG_0056

Eat-Treats In Kerala

It was with happy anticipation I had looked towards my trip to Kerala, recently concluded. Not least for the eating I hoped to experience; also for the breathtaking splendour of the tropical frondescence that the monsoon months accord it. Little wonder this period, karkidakam in local parlance, is considered most suitable for rejuvenating therapies. Having had a first-row view of it, I will never tire of saying this – it is the rainy season which truly underscores this coastal land’s validation for the ‘God’s Own Country’ moniker.

Review: Ballyhack Cottage, Shimla

Ballyhack Cottage

The Ballyhack Cottage is arguably the best located property on Shimla’s famed Ridge – adjoining the Christ Church and minutes from the buzz of the Mall. Recently rebuilt, this five bedroom home has managed to tastefully incorporate the burnished wood sounds, smells and sights that usually age would accord such a place. It is, after all, set within the premises of the oldest surviving house built by the British, said to have been commissioned for then Governor General, Lord Amherst in 1826.

Read more

Gunehar: Where & Why

4R3

On a visit to Palampur last summer, at the urging of those at Norwood Green I found myself headed for a day-trip to village Gunehar, hitherto unheard of. Located in close proximity to Bir, largely known as a paragliding destination when twinned with Billing – an activity I have not yet had the desire (read courage) to experience. You see, my sense of adventure extends far beyond the pale, to the palate. Wolfing down meals at all sorts of dubious places works just as well for me, if not my innards. Indeed my aim even that day last year was to locate this cafe, supposed haven of culinary treats that its owner Frank Schlichtmann created himself. In that sense, it was a wasted effort; a hot coffee and hurried chat across the cab boot was all I got.

Read more

Forlorn Fortifications

IMG_0262-001

That undivided Punjab was astoundingly well-located on his inroad to Hindustan left many an invader swimmingly chuffed. Naturally, it left many a ruler at the receiving end suitably miffed. They began building citadels of varying sizes and strategic needs, studding the landscape with impregnable edifices whence the potentate in residence defended his moat-girded abode from behind crenellated ramparts and lofty barbicans.

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