Summer Loll @ KTDC Lake Palace, Thekkady!

I should admit that I was quite skeptical about venturing out to Thekkady, after a visit a good four years back had left me entirely exhausted. Almost everything about the place appeared chaotic back then, right from the queue for the entry pass into the Periyar Tiger Reserve to the celebrated boat ride that wasn’t any great shakes either.

The excellent reviews of the KTDC Lake Palace at Thekkady were however reason enough to give the place a chance, and I am glad that I gave it a try. The Lake Palace is luxury redefined, and that too right on a piece of land that juts out into the lake, away from the mainland, in the midst of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Continue reading “Summer Loll @ KTDC Lake Palace, Thekkady!”

Banaras Diaries: Pyarelal and his Incredible Ink Pen Sketches!

Pyarelal on the Varanasi Ghats

As you walk towards the Dashashwamedh Ghat from Assi, the steps rise further steeply towards the Panchayati Akhada Shri Niranjani Ghat, abruptly throwing open a large expanse before you that wear an almost deserted look, with little or no crowds at all in sight.

And its here, that I see this quaint little middle aged man perched on one of the steps beside the pathway, paying no heed to the odd passer by, and scribbling away on a thick note pad placed on his lap. Lying beside him are several small sketches of the Ghats that he has made on paper, and cautiously slipped further into plastic sheaths. Continue reading “Banaras Diaries: Pyarelal and his Incredible Ink Pen Sketches!”

Banaras Diaries: The Long WaIks along the Ghats!

Yoga on the Varanasi Ghats
                                                      Yoga on the Varanasi Ghats

My second visit to Banaras was a week back in March, and the old city seemed to be in rumination and it looked like it wasn’t really sure if it wanted to blow off the last bit of chill from the air and brace itself all up for the sweltering heat that is to follow.

The last time I was there was almost half an year back, when the Ganges seemed to be rising and rising. The roads of the city were flooded and the Ghats, for which Banaras is so famous for, had all been under water. Amidst all the misery, was a populace who stringently believed that the Ganges was washing all their sins away. Continue reading “Banaras Diaries: The Long WaIks along the Ghats!”

Jungle Joys @ Rolling Stones, Masinagudi!

I have been to quite a few forest resorts in the last few years, and had chosen Rolling Stones as a second choice, when I found that bookings at another resort were way out of my budget. Having been to Rolling Stones, however, I am glad that I rethought my initial decision, since Rolling Stones is every jungle enthusiast’s dream come true destination.

Tucked away from the Masinagudi – Ooty main road, Rolling Stones is a stunning resort that is located right in the midst of the jungle, and though Google Maps had led me right to the spot, I somehow couldn’t find my way in. Connectivity is pretty low at RS, and hence I drove a few meters back to the main road, before I could ring up RS over the telephone. Mahadevan, the resort manager, who picked up the phone was all too helpful and within minutes I had landed back at RS, where my friends and I were warmly greeted by Mr. Ashish Kole, who runs the place.
Continue reading “Jungle Joys @ Rolling Stones, Masinagudi!”

The Ali Baba @ Varanasi!

I had planned a week’s stay at Varanasi, and had decided on Ali Baba Guest House, after reading the positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Had also read that for a first timer in Varanasi the p[lace could be a bit difficult to find, and hence rang up Vishal at the front office from the Bangalore airport to see how I could reach there without much hassle. Vishal rang me back after a while and messaged me a cabbie’s number who would pick me up from the airport, and when I landed at Varanasi a few hours later, was greeted with a warm smile by Amit, my cabbie for the week. 🙂 Continue reading “The Ali Baba @ Varanasi!”