7 postcards from the ruins of irresistible Hampi

Hampi

Hampi, located on the banks of River Tungabhadra was the capital of the Vijayanagara empire from 1343 to 1565. With river Tungabhadra on one side and hills on the other sides, Hampi proved to be an excellent strategic location to serve as the capital. During its prime, Hampi was the second largest and one of the richest cities in the world. Today all that glory lies in ruins and Hampi is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I present 7 postcards from these irresistible ruins:

I wrote a post on Hampi after my 1st visit in 2015, read it here: Hampi: The forgotten capital of Vijayanagara

Tosh & Kalga: Wandering in the remote hamlets of Kasol

tosh village

A narrow brown trail meandered its way through the white snow just to disappear behind a morose looking apple orchid bereft of its greenery. The footmarks on the trodden path offered the only glimpse of any human existence. The dark clouds had started to wreath the snowcapped peaks and the wind was getting cold. I and my friend Vishank stood at the base of the hill juggling between taking the risk to trek the deserted path in the face of a possible downpour or to head to Kasol where the life was definitely more comfortable than these inhospitable hills. Read more

Exploring Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned fort of Akbar the Great

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is a desolate fort complex, originally built to serve as the residence and seat of power of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Unfortunately, a shortage of water forced the Mughals to shift their capital to Agra only after 14 years of completion of this fabulous fort. A desolate Akbar, in quest for an heir to the Mughal throne, undertook an arduous pilgrimage and walked barefooted to the revered Sufi saint Khwaja Moinnuddin Chishti of Ajmer. Read more

Walking on Krishna’s trail: Mathura and Vrindavan

Prem Mandir

Krishna, the supreme lord is seen, understood and experienced in different ways and emotions by different people. He is an irrepressible child, a terrible prankster, an enchanting flute player, a graceful dancer, an irresistible lover, a truly valiant warrior, a ruthless vanquisher of his foes, an astute statesman and kingmaker, a yogi of the highest order and the most colourful incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Read more

Humayun Tomb: The first garden tomb of India

Humayun Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb is the mausoleum of Mughal emperor Humayun and has the distinction of being the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. The tomb was completed in 1570 by Humayun’s first and favorite wife Bega Begum who after Humayun’s death in 1556, constructed the magnificent mausoleum as his final resting place. Strongly influenced by Persian architecture, Humayun’s Tomb is a stunning combination of red sandstone and white marble in harmonizing symmetry and scale. Read more

Houseboat cruise through the great Alleppey backwaters

Alleppy Backwaters

There are places where you go not to trek mountains, visit monuments or spend nights partying; you just lay back soaking tranquility away from the busy routines of life. Places which help detoxify you from the venoms of modernity, places where you visit to enjoy the silence, the stillness of nature and have some serene time. Alleppey, or Alappuzha as it is currently known, is one such place. Read more

Manglajodi wetlands of Chilika Lake : A paradise for bird lovers

manglajodi

Manglajodi is a remote hamlet in the Khorda district of Odisha. The wetlands of this relatively unknown place is an extension of the Chilika lake, the largest lake of India, and hosts migratory birds who fly from as far as Siberia and Mongolia to spend their winter at the lake. Odisha Tourism with the help of the locals have successfully converted this place into an ecotourism destination and a paradise for bird lovers. I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place in what would be my first trip of 2019. Read more

Roaming amidst the Champaner ruins – a day full of struggles

Chapaner, Gujarat

I was standing in the aisle of a crowded bus continuously wiping the sweat off my face and tracking myself on the google map. A middle-aged man taps me from the back and asks “Where are you going?”; “Where are you going?”-  a typical go to questions that we Indians ask to break the ice and strike a conversation with any stranger we meet while travelling. “Champaner”, I said. The man grew more curious, “Which village?”. I didn’t have an answer to that. I replied, “I am traveling to explore the ruins of Champaner”. “Khandar !!!”, he replied Read more

Laxmi Vilas Palace at Vadodara: A royal heritage of the Gaekwads

Laxmi Vilas Palace

Think of any palace you have ever visited, how would you describe them? mesmerizingly elegant, royal, absurdly gigantic, an epitome of history and legacy. Now, what do they all have in common? a regal durbar, an ostentatious collection of jewels, an intimidating armoury, paintings. The Laxmi Vilas Palace has all these as well. So is it just another palace, there is certainly no dearth of them in India, or is it different and if so how. Now let me introduce the Laxmi Vilas Palace of Vadodara, erstwhile Baroda Read more

Walking through Ahmedabad, India’s 1st UNESCO World Heritage City

Teen Darwaza, Ahmedabad

It had been two months in Ahmedabad, and I had been travelling extensively across Gujarat in these two months but somehow kept postponing my plans to explore Ahmedabad itself. In these 2 months apart from malls and restaurants, the only other place I had been is the Sabarmati Ashram. Ahmedabad is the first UNESCO World Heritage city of India and there is no dearth of places and legends in this city to keep a history lover like me intrigued. But things got busy and it came down to my last day at Ahmedabad before I could explore the old city. Read more