A family on the road to self discovery
 

The Temples of Angkor Wat

“This flight was a breeze, I couldn’t even finish listening to two songs.”, seemingly Bangalore to Kochi isn’t that far away. This was a first in a string of flights which would bring us to Siem Reap in Cambodia, the home of the ancient temples of Angkor.

We’ve passed the immigration and security checks, now it’s time to sleep as much as we can, because the next four hours are going to be tiring as we move against time towards Bangkok. We board the plane at 1:30 am; cozying myself into the window seat, I sleep.

“Agh!” The sun is shining bright in my eyes, and Bangkok is glimmering beneath me. There are rows of houses, long empty roads in the morning, mind you. It is a sight to behold, the Chao-Praya flows through the city with a several hundred bridges across it. We descend on to Don Meang International Airport in Bangkok. I’m excited; too many different faces and a different airport in Bangkok with a busy runway and tourists from around the globe. After de-boarding, once again immigration and all, but I don’t care. We have two hours and we are already at the boarding gate. Buying a huge glass of pineapple juice for myself, I’m content. It is different with a sour taste in it.

The Chao Praya River winds its way through Bangkok


Continue reading


The Ancient temple of Someshwar Mahadev in Ulsoor

The parichay heritage walks organized by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) in Bengaluru sells like hot cake. Most of the times even before I get an opportunity to read the mails sent by them, I see another mail in my inbox informing of registration being closed.

Also, Jaishree was complaining for long that her shift to the IT city has curbed her freedom, thanks to a growing need versus pathetic infrastructure of the city. So when I got her registered for Ulsoor Heritage walk and I got a confirmation, I considered it an opportunity.

Someshwar Mahadev Temple, Ulsoor

Someshwar Mahadev Temple, Ulsoor


Continue reading


Kwai and Khasi

Whenever I think of Meghalaya, I think of waterfalls and hills and rains and yes, red stained lips and teeth of almost all the Khasi people. Barring a few, almost all of them chew betel leaves all the time.

Waterfalls and Hills

Waterfalls and Hills


Continue reading


Chaukori – The health prone nature zone

Life is hectic. Time is preciously scarce with two young kids, a demanding job, high amour-propre, and with immense interest in never ending supplies of good books and movies.

We still dare to plan vacations on our own with pitfalls of certain ideas dying prematurely, or missing timely train reservation or booking of the preferred accommodation. It happens even though the decision about our next travel destination is always well in advance and we are quick in doing the initial survey. However, after survey we slack as if the job is done and we simply need to pack our bags and leave for the destination on the scheduled date. The reasons for the slack are always trivial like we could not spare few minutes to discuss and decide. After every such debacle, these incidents are labeled as lessons learnt. The cycle goes on and most of the time we are at the same spot when we decide to travel the next time. But such are the ways of life; you forget the lesson as soon as the exams are over.

Beautiful flowers at Chaukori

Beautiful flowers at Chaukori

Continue reading


Chasing raptors @Tal Chhapar

IMG_2040

Red-necked Falcon

“Where did you spot these Red Necked Falcons?”

“In the Tal Chapar grassland.”

“No. Exactly where? which side?”

Well…..and we narrated the spot as best as we could, telling the spot in a jungle or grassland where trees are not given any address, nor the mud tracks have anything like 7th cross or second left. But we tried.

“Why? Are these uncommon here?”

“Every raptor is uncommon here because you do not get to see so many at one place. But we came all the way from Delhi to see these only.”

During many years of birding ( we are still beginners though), this typical behaviour of experienced birders have sometimes amused and other times puzzled me. You can find newer and newer birds for n number of years but sooner or later you would have seen most or perhaps all, in a given locality/area or even country. Will then bird-watching become boring? Will only the newer finds will give the pleasure? Perhaps I should restrict my bird watching trips to keep the interest alive. But what to do? I am an outdoor animal..to the core. Continue reading


Pasham, Pundit Explorer and Pricey Fungus at Mr Pangtey’s Museum

On the way back from Darkot village we stopped at the tribal heritage museum. It has a small yet good collection of artifacts, traditional clothing and accessories of the region and is established by Dr S.S. Pangtey, a PhD from Kumaon University, who belongs to Shauka tribe. When we visited the museum, he was not there and his younger brother was guiding tourists. Anyway for our information hungry minds even he was a treasure trove.

Sweet spoken Mr Pangtey at Tribal Heritage Museum, Munsiyari

Sweet spoken Mr Pangtey at Tribal Heritage Museum, Munsiyari


Continue reading