Slow Travel, Immersive Tales

Parsis in the Matheran Memory

The long shadows of the evening and morning is not the only time when trees of Matheran provide shade to the seeking souls. The abundance of trees, their tall stature and ever-branching canopy casts spell binding shades even in noon and afternoon. The absence of vehicular traffic means no hindrance of any kind to the eye and ear and no holding of hands for kids. That sets Matheran as a perfect place to take never-ending walks without any time or destination restrictions, even with kids.

Bungalow in Matheran

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The Khmer Capital of Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom is the remains of the capital city of the great Khmer Empire. It literally means “the great city” in Khmer. This imperial compound lies on the west bank of the Siem Reap River, a tributary of Tonle Sap. It is a square walled area and was the last capital city of the Angkorian Empire. This complex was built by Jayavarman VII after recapturing Angkor from the Cham invaders in 1181. He built this around existing structures, like Baphuon and Phimeankas; he also constructed one of Angkor’s greatest temples, Bayon, set at the centre of the city. There are five entrances to the city, one at each cardinal point and the victory gate.

We drove by Angkor Wat and entered Angkor Thom through the South Gate by another bridge over another moat. On that bridge, the railings were sculpted into the Devas and Asuras, taking part in Sea-Churning. The gateway was crowned with four faces, while the fort walls extended on both sides.

Entering Angkor Thom through the South Gate

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Being a Guest in Wayanad

It is a delight to live in Bamboo Villa at Trikkapetta in Waynad. The house does not have a concrete boundary wall. That omens well. A small wooden gate hinged in the green hedge takes us in the compound. There is a small pond at the entrance, brimming with fish and lily. A bridge above it takes us inside the house. The house is stilted. Yes, you read it right. There is another big pond on which the house stands and the pond is, well, a fish garden, like a kitchen garden. Inside the house, there is a sit-in-out which opens to the fish-pond below. Ducks quake and that is the only sound which rises above the squeals of my younger one and dinner table talks when all are at home. At other times ducks try to enhance the sound of silence. The owner has a shop and many other community activities, the land lady Sreeja goes to work at Bamboo Craft Centre after finishing house hold work and two daughters are busy with school and college.

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Aero India 2017 : A Photo Story

It is 7:00, and we’re in a cab, headed to the Airport! Or, Railway Station? Nope, we are going to the Aero India Show, the second largest air show in the world. At the Air Display Viewing Arena, the crowd is all lined up and excited. I roam around the field to find a good photographing spot. As soon as a fighter aircraft takes off, the loud noise silences everyone and makes its presence felt. The afterburners would make the sky rumble and vibrations reverberated through the area.

The show starts with the Indian Made Air Borne Early Warning and Control System (AEWACS) built by the DRDO on the base of an Embraer jet.


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Eurasian Jay- Mimicry Artist of the Avian world

Humans think they are smarter than dolphins because we build cars and buildings and start wars etc., and all that dolphins do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around. Dolphins believe they are smarter for exactly the same reasons. ” -Douglas Adams (a writer, dramatist and a musician)

Out of two hundred and eighty seven species of Indian hill-birds described by Salim Ali, about two hundred and thirty are found in Kumaon. So while trekking towards musk-breeding centre, as mentioned in the previous post, I was keenly looking forward to spot some new birds, though it was afternoon and the time was not suitable for birding.

Anyway there is always a hope against hopes and luckily we spotted the garrulous Eurasian Jay sitting quietly on a tree, seemingly in no mood to chirp that day, unlike of her usual self; as otherwise the bird is famous for its noisy chattering. Its scientific name is Corvus Glandirus, where Corvus in Latin means garrulous and Glandirus refers to her favorite food – Acorn.

The Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian Jay

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Angkor Wat and Beyond

“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

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