• Goreme, Cappadocia – The Fairyland

    Fairy chimneys – that’s what Cappadocia in Turkey is famed for. No not man-made, no not those in children’s fables, no not a few in a garden for a birthday party! Spread all over the 100 sq kms of Goreme National Park and beyond, formed naturally from the volcanic ash of eruptions, shaped over the years by wind and water erosion.

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  • Exploring (on foot) Offbeat Istanbul Along The Golden Horn & Cruising Down The Bosphorus!

    On our last day in Istanbul (Turkey) we took a walking tour exploring the Chora Church, Greek neighbourhood Fener and old Jewish quarter Balat on the southern shore of the Golden Horn. We ended the day with the popular Bosphorous tour at sunset, nay ending the day looking up to the imposing Galata Tower.

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  • Capturing various moods of birds in suburban shimla

    During our staycation in the hills at a nature retreat surrounded by a mixed forest around Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the verdant and sylvan surroundings were home to many different species of birds. And here, I was blessed to sight these beautiful creatures time and again in their various moods; about 35 different species of birds out of which 25 I managed to capture through my lens, a mere 300 mm. Here I share some of my birding encounters and experiences with pictures.

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  • Wayanad – Our Gateway to Offbeat Kerala

    The lure of Wayanad, in Western Ghats (Sahyadri) in northeast Kerala in India had been lingering in our consciousness for many years and we finally ended up here in March 2020. It was for us the kick off for a 2 week long road trip across Kerala and Karnataka and we were here just for a couple of days. We wanted experiences which would remain ingrained in our memories, unmarred by having been stuck at crowded tourist traps. For us less is always more!

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  • Ranipuram Trek: Our Last Pre Covid-19 Hike

    Crossing into Kerala, we chanced upon Ranipuram boasting of a thrilling trek to Ranipuram peak. Compelled by our strong desire for adventure we stayed overnight at a nondescript lodge. That’s what defines travel – opulent resorts or just a bed somewhere! An exhilarating 3.5 hours hike, at the summit we were rewarded with breathtaking views!

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  • TRAVELLING IS ABOUT UNENDING FIRSTS – OURS AT FETHIYE, SAKLIKENT (TURKEY)!

    At Fethiye by the Mediterranean Coast of South Western Turkey I hadn’t ever imagined that the Saklikent Canyon tour would include a challenging river walk to Gizlikent (Hidden Waterfall), a pit stop at Tlos – an ancient ruined Lycian hilltop citadel, an adrenalin rushing river tubing and a wacky mud bath. Each experience was an adventurous memorable first.

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  • Indelible Affair at a Coffee Plantation in Coorg!

    It is truly romantic for a nature lover to be staying at a coffee plantation. Anyday! Certainly if it is like the Old Kent Estate in Coorg (Karnataka, India). A ruminative evening walk transforms into an indelible affair for us. Col W.R.Wright an officer in British India and also a poet and writer, created this plantation in 1864.

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  • Royal Bengal Tiger – Vision To Reality In Nagarhole?

    The tale of our jeep safaris and sightings at Nagarhole National Park (Tiger Reserve) in Karnataka, South India. My impressions of the imperial beast were only from William Blake’s The Tyger, Maneaters of Kumaon, Life of Pi and Nat Geo Wild inspite of having visited many sanctuaries earlier! Did the much anticipated encounter with the regal predator happen?

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  • PENANG, George Town – A Captivating Microcosm!

    George Town is part of Penang island and the capital city of the Western Malaysian state. Ranging from Colonial and Chinese to even Thai and Burmese besides of course Malay, Penang offers a diverse experience and a tremendous mix of culture and history contained in its architecture, temples and bylanes. However, the interactive street art stole our hearts.

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  • BIR – A Sleepy Hamlet in Himachal Bestowing Indelible Memories

    Bir is a picturesque village in Kangra. Popular as the paragliding capital of India it also houses a Tibetan settlement and is populated by tea gardens and monasteries. The nature lover can lose himself during hikes in breathtaking vistas amongst the rolling hills, quaint villages, meandering rivers, emerald meadows, swirling clouds with the sky a riot of colors.

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India – Hues And Reflections

Capturing various moods of birds in suburban shimla

During our staycation in the hills at a nature retreat surrounded by a mixed forest around Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the verdant and sylvan surroundings were home to many different species of birds. And here, I was blessed to sight these beautiful creatures time and again in their various moods; about 35 different species of birds out of which 25 I managed to capture through my lens, a mere 300 mm. Here I share some of my birding encounters and experiences with pictures.

Wayanad – Our Gateway to Offbeat Kerala

The lure of Wayanad, in Western Ghats (Sahyadri) in northeast Kerala in India had been lingering in our consciousness for many years and we finally ended up here in March 2020. It was for us the kick off for a 2 week long road trip across Kerala and Karnataka and we were here just for a couple of days. We wanted experiences which would remain ingrained in our memories, unmarred by having been stuck at crowded tourist traps. For us less is always more!

Ranipuram Trek: Our Last Pre Covid-19 Hike

Crossing into Kerala, we chanced upon Ranipuram boasting of a thrilling trek to Ranipuram peak. Compelled by our strong desire for adventure we stayed overnight at a nondescript lodge. That’s what defines travel – opulent resorts or just a bed somewhere! An exhilarating 3.5 hours hike, at the summit we were rewarded with breathtaking views!

EMPTY WORDS

As the Sun’s orange glow spreads,
The monsoon clouds stop still,
Overwhelmed
By its soft radiance.
They wait awhile before washing
The valley back a verdant green.
The sky acquiesces to Surya
And rich hues cover its canvas.
(A feeble attempt to atone for the devastation of nature by trying to appreciate its beauty and magic through free verse.)

Indelible Affair at a Coffee Plantation in Coorg!

It is truly romantic for a nature lover to be staying at a coffee plantation. Anyday! Certainly if it is like the Old Kent Estate in Coorg (Karnataka, India). A ruminative evening walk transforms into an indelible affair for us. Col W.R.Wright an officer in British India and also a poet and writer, created this plantation in 1864.

Royal Bengal Tiger – Vision To Reality In Nagarhole?

The tale of our jeep safaris and sightings at Nagarhole National Park (Tiger Reserve) in Karnataka, South India. My impressions of the imperial beast were only from William Blake’s The Tyger, Maneaters of Kumaon, Life of Pi and Nat Geo Wild inspite of having visited many sanctuaries earlier! Did the much anticipated encounter with the regal predator happen?

BIR – A Sleepy Hamlet in Himachal Bestowing Indelible Memories

Bir is a picturesque village in Kangra. Popular as the paragliding capital of India it also houses a Tibetan settlement and is populated by tea gardens and monasteries. The nature lover can lose himself during hikes in breathtaking vistas amongst the rolling hills, quaint villages, meandering rivers, emerald meadows, swirling clouds with the sky a riot of colors.

The Elusive Great Indian Bustard At Desert National Park, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer – Beyond the Golden Fort, Havelis and Sand Dunes. We spotted the Great Indian Bustard, amongst the heaviest flying birds, the number having dwindled to 300, critically endangered now, amongst clumps of sewan grass and ker trees. The ‘Godawan’ is the state bird of Rajasthan, endemic to India. Also viewed vultures, eagles, chinkara, coursers, wheatears…

Gir National Park – Home to the Asiatic Lion

Sasan Gir near Junagadh in Gujarat (India) is home to the Asiatic Lions found only here in its natural habitat. Gir National Park is a declared sanctuary since 1965. Gir offers both the Gir Jungle Trail in the core forest area and the Devalia Park Safari which is more like an open zoo.

Receding Glaciers – Himalayas In Winters

At 8000 feet, Binsar in Uttarakhand (India) surrounded by alpine flora, offers excellent views of the greater Himalayas. The 300 km spectacle of Himalayan Ranges are dominated by the massifs of Nanda Devi, Nandakot, Pachachuli, Chaukhamba. The forests of Himalayan oak, rhododendron and pine are excellent for trekking. The place to stay is within The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rediscovering the Ganges

REDISCOVERING THE GANGES

We had gone to Gangotri in the summers. The power and purity of Bhagirathi overwhelmed us. Three months later at a hamlet, near Rishikesh, one morning I was sitting by the Ganges. Its beauty catapulted thru’ my eyes and mind onto paper. The humble, spontaneous words which spilled, I somehow managed to gather and ensemble.

Nature’s Canvas With Changing Hues At Park Woods Shoghi

Park Woods Shoghi is an excellent destination offering myriad experiences of misty mornings, dew kissed forests, verdant valleys and untouched countryside with panoramic views. A nature and adventure resort, 15 kms before Shimla off the NH-22 highway in Himachal Pradesh (India), offering accommodation in deluxe tents and quaint cottages.

Sangla Valley – Forbidden Land of Yore

Sangla Valley in Kinnaur – with the beauty of Baspa River, Kinner Kailash Ranges, Himalayas and the last Indian Village, Chitkul. Close to the Indo–Tibetan border (Nagasthi) in the Northern Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh (India), 238 kms ahead of Shimla. Hikes to mountain lakes, the quaint village of Batseri and glacier points.