About Madhu


A small town girl living in big, bustling Chennai. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I’m on an extended sabbatical from my interior design practice and on a mission to make up for lost time.

Marriage, the birth of our daughter and nearly a decade of shuttling between remote tea plantations in the Nilgiri Hills in South India, made for a near idyllic life but put our travel dreams on hold.

A chance move to the big city opened up opportunities for work that I immersed myself into with as much passion as I bring to travel today. I got proficient in CAD, apprenticed with leading architects in the city and eventually graduated to a successful design practice of my own, while Ravi, my husband – the elusive R of my early stories – quit his steady job and turned entrepreneur.

We were soon empty-nesters with enough savings to finally dust off our mothballed dreams. With much prioritising, and quite as much luck, we’ve since managed to make the most of both: our passion for travel and our work and family commitments.

Ravi and I travel together mostly but I add solo extensions to each trip and incorporate solo journeys in between when he is unable to join me. He loves travel nearly as much as I do but I suspect he loves his work a little bit more.

6 fun facts that my profiles do not reveal about me.

The Urge To Wander was born in early 2012 out of my desire to share my perspectives of the places I have travelled to and of the people of those places. What started out as a personal journal grew into one of the leading travel blogs in India thanks to a highly engaged community. It has also led to some interesting collaborations with tourism boards and exclusive travel brands.

You’ll find history and culture score over adventure here. It was never my intention to offer travel advice when I started out, but my stories and photo essays will now be backed up by a host of dedicated pre-planning and destination guide pages* to motivate you to travel more and to travel well.

It’s a big beautiful world out there. So many places to experience yet, and so little time. I intend to make the most of what I have left. I’m Madhu, come wander with me…

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Egypt – Because it flips every notion of antiquity on it’s head!

Istanbul – For its magical East/ West vibe, the amazing food and the people.

Kashmir – For it’s poignant magic and gracious people and Ladakh- For the magnificent Himalayan landscapes that have left me hankering for more.


Machu Picchu in the mist for one.

A dawn balloon ride over the surreal landscape of Cappadocia. Our priceless hour with the last remaining silverback gorillas in Rwanda.

And unhurried day-long safaris through the Serengeti witnessing the great wildebeest migration. I would return to Africa every year if I could afford it


Whether you are seeking inspiration or in the process of planning a trip, these featured pages will point you in the right direction.

Image Link To Travel Planning Page.

Looking to work with me? Please head over to the Media Collaboration page. Would you like to contribute guest posts to The Urge To Wander? Do read the Submission Guidelines first.

If you have questions or suggestions regarding travel or any content on this blog feel free to drop me a line here. I love constructive feedback.

And if you haven’t already, do remember to subscribe so you never miss a new post or guide.

612 thoughts on “About Madhu

  1. Great blog, wonderful design (can tell you’re a designer 🙂 ) and excellent photography. Will come back more often, as there’s so much more to explore here. Happy travels from the Netherlands!!

  2. Hello Madhu,
    Had pleasure of meeting you back in 2002 when I was invited over for a lovely evening curry. Thanks to your husband for giving me the details of your blog today, I shall pop in from time to time and view your great photographs and stories. India is a truly magical place and hopefully one day I shall return as I have many fond memories (and one or two I would rather forget!)…every time your husband phones I feel the pull of a trip to Chennai 🙂
    Venice next week!

    1. Hi Paul, apologies for the belated response. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. Hope Venice went well. I spent over a week there last April and loved every moment. You must plan another trip to Chennai. We shall try to ensure that you leave with memories that you will never want to forget 🙂

      1. Hi Madhu, our Venice trip went very well – amazing place or as I liked to call it – ‘The Worlds Largest Maze’. The temperature and humidity was extremely high (34c) myself and Helen were permanently attached to water bottles. I would like to recommend a hotel we used should you ever go back, we stayed at the Hotel Ala, just off the Giglio ramp. Needless to say, I came back with about 50gb’s of photos and HD video. Our next trip hopefully will be a return trip to see our friends in Washington DC and either a trip to Chamonix (last seen 27 years ago) or Sorrento. It is unfortunate that the actual travelling bit is becoming the most hated part – I have developed a great dislike/phobia of airports (but love flying). How do you cope with this part of travelling? Paul.

        1. Hi Paul, ‘the world’s largest maze’ about sums up Venice! 🙂 Would love to see your images…do send me a link if you plan to upload your gallery to the web. Chamonix sounds wonderful. We haven’t covered much of Europe – or the UK – except on a multi city escorted tour about three decades ago, which does not really count as travel. Time to remedy that.

          Airports are a challenge for me as well. But what option do we have with our urge to wander?

    1. Thank you. Happy you do! The theme is the same, I have just removed the background image and opted for a lighter colour scheme.

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