By Isheeta Sanghi
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Amritsar, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mysore. That is the comprehensive list of cities that my friends and I visited last summer. It was a crazy trip, to say the least, not only because we crammed in Agra, Delhi, Amritsar and Jaipur into four days but also because of the lessons that were learned along the way. Continue reading
By Swati Prasad Siddharth
The Lakshmivaraha Perumal temple at Tiruvidanthai in Tamil Nadu is one of the 108 Divyadesams – sacred places for Vaishnavites. The place is also called Sripuri , Varahapuri, Asurakulakaalanalloor, Nityakalyanapuri or Vamaghavipuri
About 42 kms of driving down the East Coast Road from Chennai, 16 kms short of Mamallapuram, we branch off to the right through a multicolored arch. A concrete road ends abruptly in front of a 15th century stone mahamantapam. Each of the 16 pillars in the mahamantapam is intricately carved. The dasavatharam or ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are very easily recognizable among the numerous figures.
Navin Gulia severely injured his neck and spine while clearing an obstacle in a competition at the Indian Military Academy, where he was in the final term as a gentleman cadet.He was 22 years old then. Refusing to let his disability define him, he decided to conquer the world in a wheelchair.
He created a modification kit to allow him to drive a car and has notched up over 200,000 kms driving up the Himalayas in Uttaranchal, Himachal and Ladakh. He has driven up to the Khardung La (pass) in Ladakh, then the highest motorable pass in the world. He has also practised flying powered hang-gliders. Here he writes about his experiences driving from Delhi to the Indo-Pak Border.
Growing up, deserts have caught my fancy a number of times. From movies like ‘Omar Mukhtar – lion of the desert’ to the Hindi classic ‘Lamhe’ and books and stories on deserts. I had no real experience of the desert except what I had read. Going to Jaisalmer, the essence of deserts in India and the beginning of Thar, had been my fantasy for a long time.
When I got a call from the Ability Foundation to go on an assignment to Jodhpur, I grabbed it. Jaisalmer was 300 kms away and the India Pakistan border another 140kms. Continue reading
By Rohini Mohan
Are you one of those people who dream of being on a floating Bohemia, your every need catered to, while you lie on your deck chair in the sun, sipping your margarita, with miles of deep blue ocean to feast your eyes on? Or do you belong to the category that develops a rash at the thought of being confined to a ship for days on end, herded together with a loud, milling crowd, your only respite being unbearably touristy, over-commercialized ports of call? My husband used to be a die hard category 2, but after a 5 day tryst with a Carnival Cruise vacation, he is slowly inching his way into category 1 – well, kinda… Continue reading
by Nirupama Subramanian
It was 5.30 am on a dark December morning. The wind gnawed at my face and froze my fingers gripping the edge of the seat in the open Maruti Gypsy. I wished I had worn gloves. The cold was something I had not anticipated on our quest. We were at the entrance of the Bandhavgarh National Park, along with forty other jeeps, with one singular purpose- seeing tigers in the wild. I had seen tigers before, pacing restlessly behind the bars, resting behind high walls and deep trenches, separated by more than those boundaries from the humans that gawked at them. They were creatures that evoked only curiosity and provoked cries of ‘Hey, tiger, move from there’ from unruly spectators. We are masters of confined spaces, tigers are creatures of vast open territories. We have rarely met on neutral ground. Continue reading
By Madhav Mohan
It’s that time of the year again. I am en route to India on one of my regular trips and I make yet another weary pit stop at good old Frankfurt airport. As arriving flights spit out people crisscrossing the globe, I am reminded of the Spaceports in the Science Fiction novels of yesteryear. Frankfurt airport could well be an intergalactic transit planet (or was it a white dwarf?) with hyper ships bringing in creatures from worlds light years away, on their way to some other exotic universe. I’ve traveled this route some years now and have long since ceased to be amazed at the sight of the throngs of Indians lounging in the transit area or sleepwalking past the Duty Free Stores in Terminal 1. But I never fail to get a kick out of the fact that I will typically meet 2 or 3 people I know.
By R. Arun Kumar
Imagine if you were asked, “When did you feel the happiest?” or its derivative, “What makes you feel full of life?” I might fumble with my reply if the question came out-of-the-blue, but when I am sitting behind the steering wheel of my car, peering ahead at an empty stretch of road that seems to go on forever, an azure blue sky beckoning me on, places crossed out in a folded piece of map waiting to be explored, the answer has always seemed so clear to me. I love the open road and all its possibilities…. Continue reading