Postcards From Portugal!

We aren’t exactly starved for sun in India. But there is something about the light in Portugal, in Lisbon in particular, that I am missing deeply as I write this from our airport hotel in cold, gloomy Frankfurt. I am in love with Portugal. It is beautiful in a melancholic sort of way. To me…

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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 – 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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Dubrovnik – Undeniably Beautiful

Dubrovnik is Croatia’s star destination for a reason. And once you get over the feeling of having stepped into a fantasy set and learn to sidestep the cruise ship surge (even in early May!) there is a lot more to do than click selfies at key Game of Thrones locations.

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Myanmar – The Considerable Attractions Of Inle Lake

The Heho (airport) arrival hall dominated by a baggage scanning unit reinstates my pre-conceived notions. Its a bit like India in the seventies, when passenger comfort played second fiddle to paranoia over contraband. The authorities definition of it anyway. Once luggage is identified from the heap in the middle of the room however, and passed through the all seeing machine,…

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