Postcard: The Great Wall of India

Kumbalgarh, Rajasthan, India 21st December 2013 The Great Wall of India. Yes, you heard that right. India has its very own version of the great wall in Rajasthan. This thirty-six-kilometer-long wall surrounding the Kumbalgarh fort is the second longest continuous wall in the world after its more illustrious peer in China. But unlike the Chinese…

Postcard: The Varkala Formation

Varkala, Kerala, India 26th January 2015 Originally a small temple town, the South Keralan town of Varkala is fast turning into a favourite backpacker hangout. And I would attribute this to what is called ‘the Varkala Formation’ – a steep red cliff rising adjacent to a small strip of beach having excellent views of the…

Postcard: Idli with a Twist

Ramanagara, Karnataka, India 22nd February 2014 Idli is undoubtedly my favorite breakfast. This traditional South India cake made of rice batter is hugely popular not only in the South but many other parts of India. I was aware of many variations of the traditional circular Idli, but stopping at a restaurant on the Bangalore-Mysore highway…

Postcard: The Holy Elephant

11th March 2013 Hampi, Karnataka, India Animals have traditionally been accorded a special place in Hindu mythology as vehicles of gods or deities themselves. That is the reason some animals are considered sacred even today in Hindu culture. Apart from the ‘Holy Cow’ which is considered the most sacred of all animals, elephants are a…

Postcard: Fishing for Mussels

Alleppey, Kerala, India (28th January 2015) Going around the backwaters of Alleppey provides a fascinating sneak peek into the different facets of local Keralan life. One such example was when I saw a man dipping into the water repeatedly and emerging after a few moments. I thought he was taking a bath or probably swimming.…

Postcard: The Pantheon of Deities

Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India (15th August 2014) Hinduism as a religion is a very attractive lure for many foreigners visiting India. More often than not belonging to a monotheistic faith themselves, they marvel at the hundreds of gods that Hindus worship. As I was walking near the Shravanabelagola temple in Karnataka, I noticed these idols of…

Postcard: Desert Violin

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India (25th December 2013) As we were strolling through the by lanes of desert town Jaisalmer, some soothing Rajasthani folk tunes wafted out from nearby, something which we had heard in other parts of Rajasthan also. We found the source of music to be a middle-aged turbaned man, presumably from the desert, playing…

Postcard: Over the Mighty Mountains

Over the Himalayas, India (3rd September 2011) As I boarded the Delhi flight from Leh after an eventful week in Ladakh, I prayed to the Gods for clear skies for the next couple of hours. This particular flight, which flies over the vast Himalayan range, is famous for its breathtaking views of the mountains, provided…

Postcard: Snow, Snow, Go Away!

  Gulmarg, Kashmir, India (25th January 2009) January is one of the best months for skiing in India. But it is also a one of the trickiest months as there is always the risk of heavy snowfall ruining your plans. When we visited Gulmarg, a popular skiing destination in Kashmir, the weather was luckily perfect…

Postcard: Reading in Peace

Baga, Goa, India (14th April 2013) At dawn on a midsummer morning in Goa, I strolled on to the Baga Beach with my precious book in hand, found a beach chair and made myself comfortable. With a gentle early morning breeze blowing and the ubiquitous sound of waves in the background, I got immersed in…

Postcard: Hookah Man

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India (22nd December 2013) Hookah, the quintessential instrument for smoking flavoured tobacco, was very popular with the Rajputs, the kings who ruled Rajasthan for centuries. The museum in Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur has an interesting collection of intricately designed gold and silver hookahs studded with precious stones that were used in the erstwhile…