Kashmir – Postcards From A Poignant Paradise

This gallery is hardly one you would associate with danger. Yet, the instinctive reaction of family and friends when I expressed our decision to travel to Kashmir was one of astonishment at our ‘daring’. For my non Indian readers, Kashmir is the strife torn region of the Indian republic sandwiched between India and Pakistan, that has had…

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Thanjavur – Sublime Chola Heritage

I am not a temple goer.  I find the energy and fervour and the attendant din of a crowded temple distracting. Rare visits on special occasions are more nostalgic concessions to tradition, rather than opportunities for communion with God. But the vibe at each of the three temples that constitute the UNESCO inscribed ‘Great Living Chola Temple‘ ensemble was different. And visiting…

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An Atmospheric Evening In Split

Moonlight. Mushy 60’s music. The company of a good man in the midst of lovely strangers. Chilled beer on the candle lit steps of a restaurant named after a Phaeronic necropolis, in the hippostyle hall of an ancient Roman Palace comprising the heart of a beautiful Balkan city. All watched over by Thutmosis’ inscrutable Sphinx. One of my favourite things to do of…

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Hampi – Experiencing The Spirit Of The Land

Located just four km from the edge of the famed UNESCO heritage site, the Orange County Hampi is the third in the Orange County stable, and surely its grandest. A gorgeous reinterpretation of the spirit of royal Vijayanagara.

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Seeking Gratitude…..

The year that dawned for us with a magical sunrise over Bagan, has reneged on its promise. We have spent the past several months in and out of hospital ICUs. My remarkable 95 year old father-in-law has miraculously pulled through. But my brother, a victim of Alzheimer’s, succumbed to an infection last month. Three weeks to the day, my handsome,…

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Hampi – The Echoes of Glory

The empire is long gone. Its relics scattered across a breathtaking boulder strewn landscape once chosen for its impregnability. Desolate ruins, lacking the antiquity of Egypt, the precision of Inca stonework or the mathematical coding of Angkor Wat. But Hampi’s stones – those chiselled by man into intricate divine forms, as well as those worn smooth by the elements – whisper stories.…

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Sacred Waters

Water – as life giver and as a symbol of purity – is an essential component of religious rituals like baptism and ceremonial cleansing. For a religion that derives its name from a river – Sindhu, from the Indus – water takes on a whole new meaning. No Hindu temple is complete without a Pushkarini or temple tank. Many tanks have natural sources beneath…

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The Narrowest Church In Split

Tucked into a sentry’s walkway above the ‘Golden’ Gate to Diocletian’s palace, is an ancient church dedicated to Saint Martin, the patron saint of soldiers.  It is a replica of the 6th century original, with a beautifully carved pre Romanesque altar partition that has been in situ since the 11th century. Narrow is the norm in the confined…

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An Amble Through A Storied Park – Lodhi Gardens

If there is one thing I envy Delhi-ites, it is the green oasis of Lodhi Gardens. Over ninety acres of unexpected tranquility to escape the gridlocked delirium of their capital city. The landscaping would be easy enough to replicate elsewhere in India (who am I kidding!). But it is the historic ambience, those omnipresent vestiges of Delhi’s storied past, that make…

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