Stories, photographs and thoughts from a travelling couple taking walks and mapping their routes, while backpacking around India, and parts of the world.
Day 2 of our road trip to Leh, and we wake to the sun-kissed clouds at Sarchu.
On most evenings, when we head out exploring our surroundings, we bump into friendly stray dogs. Me being the dog whisperer that I am, I tell the dogs to go to Priya - where they get a few minutes of love and affection. Here is one nice fellow who followed us around the river at Amona.
Priya, at the Sinquerim cliff, watching the monsoon clouds above the Arabian Sea.
A human's eye view of a beached creature (jellyfish) from the Arabian Sea.
An aerial view (of some sorts) of the Church of St. Cajetan, shot from the Capela da Nossa Senhora do Monte.
The time had come to do a road trip. Given the responsibility of transporting my sister’s car from Mumbai to Goa, Priya & I decided to drive along the west coast, mostly on NH4 and taking roads along the sea side whenever possible. We broke the journey over three days, and on day two we found ourselves at the Arrey Warrey beach during sunset.
Of friends who are family. Conversations that never end. Of setting suns and endless laughter. Of joy in the simple things. Of loving and living in a crowded city that has old corners and hidden stories if you know where to look. Sankranti, 13th January, 2013 with the Ramachandrans. And one D'souza.
Mythological figures, painted faces, energetic performances, frenzied music and a whole lot of theatrics greet you at the Shigmotsav, the annual spring festival of Goa that follows Rang Panchami or Holi.
If I had to sum up Old Goa in all its glory in one single picture, I’d take you to the the Capela da Nossa Senhora do Monte. The Chapel of Our Lady of the Monte, as its name suggests, is perched prettily atop a hillock in Old Goa, which overlooks the gorgeousness of our beautiful neigbourhood. Once you climb up that steep hill, making your way up the magnificent stone steps that leads to the chapel, the view that greets you is breathtaking.
On our way back to Chennai, from Pondicherry, we made a pit stop at the Alamparai Fort along the East Coast Road.
After the frenzy, delirium and the intensity of the six day-long Durga Pujo celebrations at the Chatterjee home in Gariahat, Durga Maa, who was revered, pampered and indulged as the daughter of the home for the entire affair, makes her way out to go back to where she belongs amidst mixed emotions. Until she comes back again next year.
After spending some time admiring the beautiful architecture and details of the St. Mary's Church we met this little fellow outside.
This 450-year-old Banyan is more than just a tree. It's history, ancient knowledge and life fused together in an intricate network of gnarled splendour. While the grounds of the Theosophical Society in Chennai is a revelation in itself, this incredibly-spread out tree, one of the oldest trees in India, is a delight to behold. There are unverified claims that the branches and roots of this tree roughly covers over 40,000 sq feet!
In a bid to escape the chaos of the busy Munnar town, with its horde of honeymooners and those same-cap wearing tour bus participants, we rode far and long to get to Top Station, steering clear from all the designated 'photo points' and 'tourist attractions'.
Dried stems stand out against the lush green blades in the paddy fields at Torda.
Local women walk down the temple stairs, after admiring the beautiful architecture at Khajuraho.
Sometime around May in 2010 my buddies and I did a road trip across a few states in the North East of India. We found ourselves playing cricket with the army guys posted somewhere at the Indo-China border and later on headed off to the Madhuri Lake. The lake is also known as Shungetser Tso.
After we entered a food coma of sorts, we headed to a chaiwallah who Rahul claimed doled out the closest equivalent of the glorious Irani Chai in Hyderabad.
Bara Gumbad, the 520-year old, three-domed mosque is a revelation of the elegance of Mughal architecture with its intricate Arabic engravings and beautiful floral and geometric motifs. On a beautiful spring afternoon, it was a delight to explore this structure at the lovely Lodhi Gardens.
Lakshmi, the temple elephant indulges in a short nap while her mahout and excited tourists lavish her with attention and bathe her.
A shy little girl hides behind a wall, stealing glimpes of us, after her holi celebrations.
Priya and a happy stray dog take some time off and enjoy the sunrise by the Tungabhadra, at Hampi.
While making our way from Sarchu to Ladakh, we encountered dust storms, rain, hail and snow. It was amazing feeling, getting to experience the different forces of nature in the span of a few hours. Not only did the weather keep changing, but so did the landscape. The mountains kept changing color as we made our way through the valleys.
While the sunset was a spectacle and the waves put up a dramatic display of their own, what caught our eyes on that beautiful night in Kanyakumari was the lighthouse, standing tall and lonely above the sacred city, showing its beacons of light to the men at sea.
Between our various chai sessions (photo below), we decided to talk a walk around the Lotus Pond.
Munnar was dirty, ugly and full of tourists behaving like stray cattle. So we decided to head to Devikulam instead. We met a few locals who advised us not to miss the sunrise the next morning. So we kicked our laziness aside, woke up really early the next morning, rode through the freezing cold and made our way through some lush green tea estates.
We took a walk along the Fort Kochi jetty early one morning. This kitten sat quietly in the sunlight, not bothered by the scores of feet that passed by it.
In the morning we headed to Top Station, passing under, through and above clouds as we made our way there.
Sky, Earth and water gloriously meet to form this stunning horizon show over the backwaters of Alappuzha. The soft dawn light, the chirps of a hundreds of varieties of birds and the distinct freshwater smell of the backwaters makes for a heady concoction.
A view of the side of the beautiful Bibi ka Maqbara showcasing the amount of detail and effort that went into construction of this amazing structure.
Priya, awestruck while we walked the streets of Mattancherry, at Fort Kochi. This one was shot at the Jew Town.
Even as the glorious Kanyakumari sunrise broke through the clouds to put up a dramatic spectacle, the Vivekananda memorial and the Thiruvallur statue are bathed in the soft light of the dawn. This image is not manipulated. It is a HDR photo, with some bumping up of colors and minor adjustments. Shot using the super-wide 14mm lens, which enabled us to get so much into the frame.
We stopped for a couple of days at Alappuzha (Alleppey) to slow down a bit and to relax. We had been on the road for more than a week and the fatigue was starting to kick in. After spending some time on a house boat we decided to hit the streets of Alappuzha, explore the beach road and soak in the essence of the town. Which brought us to the Indian Coffee House. Where we found this little fellow, barely a few days old, yelping and tottering around looking around for his mother, who was too busy basking in the sun to care.
We've been on the road for a while now. A couple of states covered so far, while backpacking around this country which always had something new to offer. This photograph was clicked at the Idiom Bookseller store in Fort Kochi while on our latest trip around Kerala. A ton of photo stories are in the making, so stay tuned!
starfish washed ashore at the Varca Beach. Probably nearing its death.
Watching the explosions in the sky against the backdrop of the beautiful Hussain Sagar Lake by night, as the Gautama Buddha stands a silent witness.
While bursting crackers is fun in its own right, the pleasure of sitting on the terrace of a high-rise and watching fireworks light up the night sky, far away from all the smoke and action, made for a spectacular Diwali, 2012. This is a still from a time-lapse video, which is available below.
The skies took shades of blues and gold as the sun dipped down the horizon, at the Varch beach in Goa.
The magnificent Se Cathedral stands tall and dignified, unaffected by the pettiness of the people who offer their prayers inside. A postcard from the past, providing peace to the present.
The mighty Ganges meanders its way through the majestic Himalayan mountain range in Uttarakhand.
Mumbai cityscape on a lazy morning at Mulund. Shot from the 19th floor balcony of my sister's home.
Wild horses graze on top of the Himalayas flaunting their silhouettes at the horizon.
When the day comes to an end and when the click-happy tourists, solace-seeking couples and the world of noise that comes with them, start retreating back home, I stand alone with my secrets.
Early morning, at the break of dawn, while searching for a tiger in the wild, we came across this mighty Sambar who strolled across the road, not bothered by our presence, and into the forest. Leaving us all awestruck.
An eagle soars through the sky at the Thoseghar waterfall. This photo was taken from our recent mini Maharashtra road trip.