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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Jodhpur – Marwar Meets Andalucia In Mehrangarh…..

The fusion of traditions at the Jodhpur Flamenco and Gypsy Festival is a visual and emotive exploration of rhythm! Of the passion and pathos of the Cante, with the joyous, raucous melodies of the Thar desert. The mellow tones of the acoustic guitar, with the shrill keening of the Kamaicha and the Sindhi Sarangi. The power and the poise of the…

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Serengeti – The Gnu & Its Wanderlust

We very nearly missed the river crossings we had come to the Serengeti to witness. Rains arrived early this year. And the wildebeest herds, following some primal genetic coding that propels them on an arduous trek across the Savannah in search of fresh new grass, had already moved to the Northern plains. Perhaps even crossed over to the…

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The Incredible Destiny Of Mirza Ghiyas Beg!

R & I have had many turning points in our lives. Those serendipitous moments when things could so easily have gone the other way.  And we have often argued over whether these were mere co-incidences or karmic interventions. R believes in hard work and sagacity. I do too. I really do. But I am too much of a romantic to…

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The Magnificent Mausoleum Of Humayun

To the debate of wasps the dialectic of monkeys the chirping of statistics it offers (tall pink flame made of stone and air and birds time in repose on water) the architecture of silence” ~ Translation “El Mausoleo de Humayún by Octavio Paz Any experienced traveler should know better than to visit monuments that generate…

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Giving Delhi Its Due

Granted my earlier visits had been limited to meetings with modular furniture makers and interior contractors, but charm was still the last thing I expected to find in Delhi! An insidious allure that gets under your skin, even as you wilt in the heat and the pollution smothers your lungs. “Do tourists really get to know…

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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 Temple Mountain Of Angkor Wat

Once upon a time, an Indian prince named Khambu set sail Eastward to become the object of affection of a Naga princess, Mera. They married, and from their union was born the Khmer (Khambu + Mera) and the kingdom of Kampuchea (Khambujas = sons of Khambu). This legend of creation is flawed however, since the history of the…

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The ‘Old Peak’ Of The Inca

“Remember to bury these under the Sun Gate.” Frank, our guide, handed over a bunch of coca leaves…. “For luck.” I carefully tucked the leaves into my pocket before boarding our train to Aguas Calientes. Frank was going to await our return to the Sacred Valley, the next evening. We lucked out with front row…

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