• Air Arabia Airlines

    Air Arabia Mumbai – Sharjah

    Flying to international destinations from Tier 2 cities in India is a pain in the neck. You need to fly to the nearest metro with an international...

  • Solo Travel

    Solo Travel

    In my recent long distance travels whilst returning home by train the gentleman next seat asked me what took me to Kannur? “I was keen to explore...

  • A Chettinad House

    Chettinad doors to a faded glory

    An edited version of this article was published in the February’15 issue of  Travel + Leisure India and Southasia magazine as Chettinad’s treasure chest   A beautiful Kolam...

  • Sunset in Arabian Sea

    Goa paint me Red

    An edited version of this article was published in the Feb’15 Vistara in-flight magazine. The waves lapped at my feet as the golden disc slipped down the...

  • Kingswear

    In love with Devon

    An edited version of this article was published in Travel + Leisure India and South Asia magazine (December’14) It was my second trip to United Kingdom after...

  • Dandeli Paddy Fields

    Dandeli Diaries – memorable experiences

    Dandeli had been my abode for three days and I had enjoyed every moment of it. Three years back I had visited Dandeli but then it was just...

  • Borough Market

    Borough Market for the Global Cuisine

    I climbed the stairs to step out of London Bridge’s tube station.  A cold draught blew in and I zipped my jacket. It indicated I was getting...

  • A perfect landing

    Balloon Safari – Romancing the sky

    I woke up at dawn and got ready for the safari of my life. Have you ever been part of the limitless azure sky with white puffs...

  • Travel

    How Traveling Changes your Life

    This post appeared in Women’s Web Traveling is the tonic for life that keeps the soul replenished. Every moment brings in a new perspective to the journey...

I had reached Delhi after a whirlwind tour exploring Rishikesh on a two wheeler, hiking the Garhwal mountains near Uttar Kashi and reaching remote villages like Agoda that are completely cut off from the rest of the world. On 2nd May’15 I was supposed to travel from Delhi to Pune by Jet Airways which was scheduled to depart at 7:45 a.m. It was 8:20 a.m. and we were all boarded on to the flight and waiting for the flight to take off.

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When in Kuflon Basics a beautiful homestay in the hills of Garhwal, Uttarakhand I decided to venture further up the hill. Dodital is a beautiful lake with abundant rainbow or golden trouts and brown trouts introduced by the Britisher Morrison. It is believed Lord Ganesh the Hindu deity was born at Dodital which is at a height of 3310 m. Dodital is 21 km from Sangam Chatti close to the Uttar Kashi town. You traverse through the hamlets of Agoda or Agora, Manjhi before reaching Dodital that takes you at least two days.

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Four years back when I visited Goa and stayed in one of the GTDC resorts the experience was not worthy to be mentioned. The resort was in the middle of the city and was more like a clubby hole. This time around when I visited Goa and stayed at Miramar Residency I found the resort a decent sanctuary that could be worked upon.

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With the summer vacation setting in we had made bookings in Club Mahindra, Madikeri for a week long stay. This was a family trip with two kids in tow. Normally we drive by our car from Pune if we are visiting places in Karnataka. This time around we decided to do something different and fly down to Bangalore (Air India had a killer sale) and then drive to Madikeri.

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When I received an invitation from the well known Baap of all Apps Askme.com for a Foodies Meetup I thought why not try out the array of dishes at The Feast a multi-cuisine restaurant in Le Meridien, Pune.

The agenda of the program was an introduction to the askme.com app and a session on Food Photography by Harminder. There was a huge variety of dishes in all courses for an epicurean. Writing 10 restaurant reviews for  Askme.com would result in a free meal voucher for two. Also referring foodies would yield bonus vouchers.

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Being a Tamilian married to a Malayali the south Indian genes runs through our family. Day in and out Tamilnadu and Kerala dishes are cooked in the kitchen. Whenever I visit restaurants in North India I immediately get to differentiate the cooking style of South Indian dishes which aren’t close to the version back home. So when I visited Dravida’s Bistro in Boat Club Road, Pune I was skeptical of the authenticity of the dishes. Dravida’s Bistro has a simple, no mess ambiance with a large black board listing down their dishes.

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I walked barefoot on the sea shore of Ullal. It had been quite late by the time I arrived in Ullal and the sun had already set leaving behind glimpses of its existence with the scarlet smeared sky. I found the coastline across Dakshin Kannada very clean and less crowded. Good for me I preferred staying in the company of nature avoiding the hustle and bustle of hawkers, vendors and tourists. Well I was in Summer Sands a forty year old beach resort that is situated on the shores of Ullal.

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An edited version of this article was published in The Hindu on 28th March’15

I waited outside the premises of the Hoysaleshwar Temple that had long stood the test of times. A padlocked gate separated me from the magnificent edifice. I had left Chikmagalur in the wee hours of the day and was too early to pay my tributes to this living testament of India’s glorious past. I walked around the small sleepy town of Halebeedu which was yet to wake up to the first morning rays. I was 220km from Bangalore, the state capital of Karnataka and waiting for the doors to India’s architectural grandeur to open.

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I had reached South Kanara or Dakshin Kannada which was part of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. Mangaluru or Mangalore was earlier called Mangalapuram after the presiding deity of the city Mangaladevi. Part of the coastal Karnataka region Mangaluru is a melting pot of various communities like the Brahmins, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Tulu and Bunt. A learning center with numerous colleges and renowned universities like the Manipal has made this destination a major hub for  education. Financial institutions like the Vijaya Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank, Karnataka Bank and Canara Bank were founded in and around Mangalore.

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Gudi Padwa is the first day in a Maharashtrian calendar in the month of Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada. It is the New Year for the Maharashtrians and they do sure celebrate it with pomp and fervor. Early morning people wake up before sunrise and ensure the Gudi is erected in their courtyard or balcony in case they stay in flat.

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