• img236-001

    Cobra In The Bath

    Cobra in the Bath – Adventures in Less Travelled Lands, readers will find, is many things but what it is not however is your everyday travelogue. Au contraire, this here is an engaging chronicle of a near-seven decade expedition–one that has an uncanny knack of catapulting headlong into history-shaping geographies across several continents.

    Read more »
  • IMG_6341

    Coffee Museum, Dubai

    The refurbished Bastakiya quarter–settled by Persian traders at the turn of the 20th century, now rechristened as Al Fahidi Historic District–is pretty much all that Dubai can pass off as structural heritage. Neighbouring Shindagha where the ruling Al Makhtoum family once lived along the shores of the Dubai Creek is still in the process of receiving its makeover.

    Read more »
  • 1_Page_1

    The Pink Chain of Hope

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Should you find yourself visiting Chandigarh in the last week, you may want to save the date, 29th October, to express solidarity with the concerted efforts of the Pink Chain of Hope.

    Read more »
  • IMG_5666

    Varanasi Vignettes

    Last week, I attended a glitzy Travel Writers’ Conclave in Lucknow powered by a resurgent Uttar Pradesh Tourism. This was preceded by a visit to one of three nodal cities that comprise the newly-introduced Heritage Arc. In what appears to be an earnest bid to swell tourist footfalls to the state, the powers-that-be in the governing dispensation conjured up this concept to better the weather-beaten Golden Triangle.

    Read more »
  • Saryu Arti

    Ayodhya: Before And After

    Before and after my visit, that is. Up until then, Ayodhya for the most part was cloaked in indifferent obscurity. Cross referenced every now and then with childhood reminiscences of Amar Chitra Katha comics. For many, they were an early introduction to our cultural heritage, their colour-infused pages peopled with historical and mythological figures.

    Read more »
  • @Home (2)

    @ Home – A Complete Guide To Homestays In India

    This one has been long in the making. One of my earlier assignments for Times Group Books, it took over two years to see fruition. In a way, I’m glad for that. Because the discerning demographic that endorses more relaxed encounters on the road has shaped itself into a force to reckon with since.For one, that translates into great sales. But more importantly, @Home brings together some of the best home stay options dotting Indian states.

    Read more »
  • IMG_5580-001

    Dewa Sharif, Barabanki

    I travel a whole lot in case you hadn’t noticed. For leisure and for work, and have been doing so for over two decades. That’s nearly as much time as I spent trying to get formally educated. No points for guessing which one was more edifying. It should come as no surprise then that life-on-the-road has begotten me opinion-altering epiphanies and copious amounts of perspicacity much in the same manner as life-as-usual has for others.

    Read more »
  • IMG_3117

    Tirthan over Jalori Pass: Drive Along

    Pulling rank on a 4×4-wielding younger relative was never more fun. Especially when it meant making the acquaintance of a road never travelled. That he himself is an off-roading enthusiast meant the proverbial gun to the head would remain cable-locked.

    Read more »
  • IMG_3365

    Review: Himalaica, Bhowali

    They should have called them Hook, Line, and Sinker. For, have no doubt, you will be falling for them. I refer to the reception turn-out at a recent home-stay experience in Bhowali, a short, mostly pretty drive away from Nainital, Bhimtal and Sattal. Flowery garlands, aromatic sprinkles, exotic drinks, refreshing wipes, gel-coiffed cheery staff, step aside. Nothing quite says ‘Welcome’ like a woof, a wag, and a…whoa…slurp! If you disagree, read no further, because this post is about the house where Raja, Lama, and Cyber live.

    Read more »
  • IMG_1761

    Fortifying Punjab’s Heritage

    Early on in February this year a motley lot largely comprising Europeans was spotted excitedly finding its way around the flatlands of Punjab. Somewhat out of character, one would say, as the state as a whole is not known to be a destination for mass tourism or group travel. Excepting, of course, sundry jathas headed to one or more of its historical or popular places of faith, which is generally a domestic movement with the odd NRI family thrown in.

    Read more »

Travel

IMG_6341

Coffee Museum, Dubai

The refurbished Bastakiya quarter–settled by Persian traders at the turn of the 20th century, now rechristened as Al Fahidi Historic District–is pretty much all that Dubai can pass off as structural heritage. Neighbouring Shindagha where the ruling Al Makhtoum family once lived along the shores of the Dubai Creek is still in the process of receiving its makeover.

1_Page_1

The Pink Chain of Hope

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Should you find yourself visiting Chandigarh in the last week, you may want to save the date, 29th October, to express solidarity with the concerted efforts of the Pink Chain of Hope.

Latest in Books

img236-001

Cobra In The Bath

Cobra in the Bath – Adventures in Less Travelled Lands, readers will find, is many things but what it is not however is your everyday travelogue. Au contraire, this here is an engaging chronicle of a near-seven decade expedition–one that has an uncanny knack of catapulting headlong into history-shaping geographies across several continents.

Latest in Food

DSC_9513-002

Times Food Guide

Authoring the 2015 Times Food Guide for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali counts as yet another first. Challenging, but still. It is no secret that the Tricity is not topping charts as a gourmand’s destination, unlike say a Delhi or an Amritsar, but it did throw up some little-known gems that I hope will stay the course.

Review: Himalaica, Bhowali

IMG_3365

They should have called them Hook, Line, and Sinker. For, have no doubt, you will be falling for them. I refer to the reception turn-out at a recent home-stay experience in Bhowali, a short, mostly pretty drive away from Nainital, Bhimtal and Sattal. Flowery garlands, aromatic sprinkles, exotic drinks, refreshing wipes, gel-coiffed cheery staff, step aside. Nothing quite says ‘Welcome’ like a woof, a wag, and a…whoa…slurp! If you disagree, read no further, because this post is about the house where Raja, Lama, and Cyber live.

Read more

Fortifying Punjab’s Heritage

IMG_1761

Early on in February this year a motley lot largely comprising Europeans was spotted excitedly finding its way around the flatlands of Punjab. Somewhat out of character, one would say, as the state as a whole is not known to be a destination for mass tourism or group travel. Excepting, of course, sundry jathas headed to one or more of its historical or popular places of faith, which is generally a domestic movement with the odd NRI family thrown in.

Read more

Churu: Rajasthan’s Forgotten Marwari Marvel

IMG_2609

Nothing in the bumpy ride from a desultory train station to your hotel quite prepares you for the whimsy-wonder that is Churu. On the face of it, it is just another unexceptional town fringing the Great Thar preoccupied with generally going about life as usual. Largely notorious for mercurial swings ranging from near freezing point to hovering around the 50 degrees mark in high summer.

Read more