The Tomb Of Safdarjung

The site is deserted, even at midday. The Re.5/- entrance fee ($2/- or Rs.100/- for non SAARC foreigners!) is almost an apology, even without the elevated status of a royal tomb. This “last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture” is the final resting place of the erstwhile Nawab of Avadh, Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur…

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My World In Five Colours – 2013

I had fun last year showing you my world In five colours, in response to Jennifer and James’s nominations for the Capture the Colour photo competition. I have been nominated yet again, by Suzanne Courtney of The Travel Bunny and Hanel of Hanels’ Travels and Photography for the 2013 edition. The rules entail that I publish a post…

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The Citadel Of Art

There are no massive city gates to welcome you here, or stone covered causeways over gigantic moats to traverse. But what Banteay Srei – Khmer for Citadel of the Women* – lacks in monumental scale and significance, it makes up for with its exquisite sculptural adornment. Each intricate, carved inch of its centuries old, pink sandstone…

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Golden Hour At Pre Rup

Bakheng is the most popular spot for sunset viewing in Angkor. And natuarally the most crowded. So we chose Pre Rup instead. The relatively quieter state temple of the 9th century Khmer king Rajendravarman II. There couldn’t have been a more fitting finale to our four day visit than to watch the sun slip quietly behind the…

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The Serpent Guardians Of Indo China

Veneration of animals as symbols of powerful cosmic forces, far predated the advent of organised religion. The worship of serpents seems the most prominent and widespread among these animist beliefs, with evidence to suggest its practice across ancient civilizations ranging from the Hopi Indian tribes and Mayans in the Americas, to those in Egypt, India,…

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The Khmer On The Water

In an annual phenomenon unique to the region, the natural flow of the Tonle Sap river is reversed back into the lake of the same name, by the influx of the monsoon swollen Mekong into the South China Sea! This expands the area of the lake several fold, making it the largest freshwater lake in…

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Why?

“Why?” a young American ahead of us asked his friend. “Do you get why this happened?” His Cambodian companion started describing the events that led to his country’s descent into hell, but the young man interrupted him. “No, no…..I know what happened. WHY did it happen?” That question haunted us as we filed past the row upon…

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Beng Mealea – Breathtaking Desolation!

Stepping on the ancient, lichen covered stones of Beng Mealea, in the deep, dark shadows of late afternoon, is almost meditative. No armies of tourists to vie with for the best camera angles here. Just us and a couple of nimble footed little descendants of the Khmer. Beng Mealea – meaning ‘Lotus Pond’ – situated 45 km East of…

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The Frozen Smile Of The Bayon

Imagine for a moment, that you are an early French explorer, stumbling upon these crumbling ruins in the shadowy half light of dense tropical jungle. And making the startling discovery that those tree covered towers are in fact eerie, mysterious faces! Hundreds of them! With hooded staring eyes and implacable smiles! In the vast silence of…

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