Istanbul – Top Backpacking Hacks for a Shoestring Budget

I was deeply fascinated by Istanbul after having read and re-read Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul – Memories And The City. Pamuk’s glorious anecdotes of his life in Istanbul and fine detailing of huzun (melancholy and nostalgia) in the timeless city had unknowingly resulted in a yearning for Istanbul for me. On this visit, I felt like…

Top Travel Memories from Thailand

‘Look, the ocean’s lit up’, said the guide in the boat. I was flabbergasted to see bioluminescence light up the water on a night boat ride. Thailand, as a country has been a favourite for Indian tourists over the years. It offers a mix of being a budget destination with pristine beaches, stunning temples, other cultural…

Old World Charm of Landour, with Rokeby Manor

On the circular path of Landour, a board hanging on a tree announces ‘If we liked noise we wouldn’t live here, if you like noise you shouldn’t be here.’ Immediately, an inexplicable rush of happiness courses through my veins. I’m no stranger to Landour; having spent multiple lazy vacations in this tiny fairytale town (if…

The Goodness of Strangers : Travails & Joy in Gada Gushaini

Names of some places strike the mind as mirages. Not because they might be difficult to reach physically, but rather due to the fact that hardly anyone from the mortal world has been there. And hence when unplanned wanderers like me happen to inadvertently land in obscure and little known hamlets like Gada Gushaini, it…

Himachal’s Newest Offbeat Secret : Thachi Valley

It must have been 2 years ago, in 2016 when I had first heard (or read) the word Thachi. I’d reached Balichowki on my way to Gushaini and was having paranthas at a small eatery when I saw a bus with Thachi written on it. I asked the dhaba uncle and he said the road…

My Escapades in Bihar : Places to Visit in Patna

Like most Indians, I had grown up with a hackneyed old view of Bihar as a state of chaos, lawlessness and gross mismanagement. And my growing up years did nothing to change this view; even the Bihari labours at my family establishment were a funny lot but managing them reaffirmed my thoughts that Bihar must…

Winter in Ladakh : The Goodness of Strangers from Hordass to Saspol

Woke up after a relaxed sleep in Garkon. We were staying at Master Sonam’s Homestay and our chief reason of being in the ‘Aryan Valley’ region was for the wine! Our breakfast consisted of shalgam leaves (turnip leaves) and rotis to be washed down with milk tea. It was very tasty and fresh and we…

A Second Winter Trip to Ladakh – Reaching Wanla from Leh Airport

On a cold December morning in 2016, it was time for my second winter trip to Ladakh. We boarded an early morning flight from Delhi and arrived at Leh airport at around 9 am. Even though I highly advise taking it easy and acclimatising to the rarified, thin altitude air of Ladakh especially during the…

Villa Life on the Mediterranean Coast in Kas, Turkey

Popular travel planning websites and blogs had thrown up names like Bodrum, Izmir, Antalya, Fethiye, Marmaris on the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea Coastline in Turkey. Akin to how I travel in India, we had decided to keep the Turkey trip flexible with no fixed itinerary. After spending a few days in Istanbul and Cappadocia,…