Category Archives: India

Darasuram April 18

Tanjavur – 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 […]

Elephant stables, Hampi October 24

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. […]

Stepped Pushkarini, Hampi October 14

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 […]

Lodhi Gardens - New Delhi July 20

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 […]

Svatma, Tanjavur April 28

Reimagining Tamil Traditions At Svatma, Tanjavur

Loss of diversity, especially in the urban milieu, is inevitable in a globalised world. Pizza will often replace paniyaram. Or cappuccino, filter kaapi. But what does one do when one’s native cultural symbols begin to feel inadequate? Unsophisticated? The Subrahmaniam’s – Chennai based dancer/architect Krithika, and her developer husband, Sumant’s – response to their young son’s disenchantment with things Indian, was to find a way to reintroduce him […]

March 15

A Boatyard Turned Boutique Hotel

A boatyard turned boutique hotel that evokes the period flavour of Colonial Cochin.

December 05

Grief, Pride & Hope In My Submerged City

Its been eerily silent this past week. I normally revel in the quiet of my neighbourhood, but this is the silence of devastation. Of a city knocked to its knees.  I miss the sounds I whined about. Of engines backfiring in the distance. Of the howling of strays or the keening of koels that shake me from my sleep at […]