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…

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…

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…

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,…

Orange Festival of Adventure & Music in Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh

Back in 2017, over a glass of delicious home-brewed rice wine in Nagaland a friend had thrown the words ‘Dambuk Orange Festival’ at me. I was intrigued; Dambuk sounded exotic and the fact that it was an adventure and music festival held in the midst of orange orchards felt too good to be true! About…

In Lake Country : Tawang to Bumla & Shungatser Lake

It was a freezing cold morning in Tawang; and we were supposed to go to Bumla. We had a reasonably late night at the Tawang Festival. It was the end of October and night temperatures in Tawang were already hovering in the negative. On top of the cold, the local alcohol that we all had…

Offbeat Museums with Cultural Treasures across India

When I am travelling to an offbeat ; I always make it a point to check out if there’s a state museum around. Usually state museums are located in capital cities and they make the best places for an introduction to a state’s culture for travellers like me. Over the course of my journeys across…

Favourite Cafés & Restaurants in Delhi

Over the years, Delhi has been a transit stop on many of my journeys across India and elsewhere. I’ve had the opportunity of sampling all kinds of cuisine in Delhi ranging from street food in Old Delhi to the boutique cafés of hep Gurgaon. Yes, you sure want to eat good food when you come…

Tribes of Nagaland – Hornbill Festival

As briefly mentioned in the earlier photo story; the Hornbill Festival near Kohima in Nagaland is a great place to have a glimpse of the different tribes of Nagaland in their traditional attire. Names of the various tribes of Nagaland are : Ao, Angami, Chakhesang, Chang, Kachari, Khiamniungan, Lotha, Konyak, Kuki, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Pochury,…