All posts tagged: Travel Photography

A Photojourney To Sangla Valley And Chitkul

During my solo bike trip to Spiti Valley, I ended up in a town called Chitkul. It was more than 40 kilometres off the route. One side. But I could not stop myself from bifurcating. After all, it was “The Must See Camping Place, in Himalayas” as many people, whom I’d met on the journey, recommended. “Don’t forget to go to Chitkul man, Sangla Valley is so beautiful you won’t believe your eyes,” said a guy from Bangalore, as he threw another mug of water on his over-pampered Bullet 350. “Classic”, as he always pointed out, with a pause. Situated around 40 km from Karcham, Chitkul comes under Sangla Valley, which is spread over a tiny land of 20 kms. And when it comes to Himalayas, 20 kms seem even tinier. But if you speak about its beauty, each sight is a magnificent sight to behold. Snow clad mountains surround you and welcome you with a spectacular view of The Kinner Kailash. On the left lies the Sangla Valley, and on the right, the Baspa Valley. …

Temples In Ayutthaya – A Day Trip From Bangkok That You Cannot Miss

Ayutthaya is one of Thailand’s cultural highlights, its former capital, and home to an ancient civilization. Today it is popular among tourists because of its close proximity to Bangkok, which allows them to take a day out, see it all, and head back to Bangkok city; or make it a stop on their northern tourist trail towards Chiang Mai. While the temples have a rich historic significant, to my guilt, I admit that my sole intention was to explore it to do some photography. Ayutthaya has a total of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in addition to a few ruin structures, ancient pagodas and museums. You can get a day pass for all the six UNESCO sites for 220 Baht, or can pay 50 Baht for each. The majority of the archaeological park is contained in central Ayutthaya, which is basically a small river island. You can explore much of it on foot. Rent a bicycle if you don’t want to look the odd one out. Hire a tuk-tuk if you don’t want to sweat on streets. …

Charanag – Just Another Town, Across The Mountains

When you’ve been traveling for long enough, you start calculating the benefits. You wonder whether your travels have made you a better person, and whether all these journeys, that you’ve so far taken, have given you a deeper understanding of yourself – from within, and without I found myself pondering over such infinite and boundless thoughts as I decided to stay yet another day in Charanag – a small village in Himachal, secluded from the-road-much-taken towards Manali – where I ended up being the (only) tourist in the entire town. Though in my mind I’ve always been a drifter, it’s places like these, that slow down my movement. As I wandered through its small, cosy alleys it struck me that going slow, and sometime going nowhere at all, and just sitting still – killing every minute as it approaches you, with a new challenge – is the best of all joys. And here, in places like these, you find that joy. The joy in sitting still. In studying locals, and following their cultural routine to each days …

A Photo Journey Through Spiti Valley: Amongst World’s Most Beautiful Landscapes

Isolated and wild from inside out, as it appears – the journey to Spiti Valley will take you to the roads less traveled, literally! It is “The Middle Land” between India and Tibet, and much of it is either inhospitable or unexplored. Life here is tough and a little less ordinary, perhaps that’s why every moment spent here has its own significance. [Also Read: My Solo Bike Expedition To Spiti And How I Did It In Less Than 5K Rupees] A cold desert, a raging river, few rugged and narrow roads, and many uninviting trekking routes – no wonder Spiti Valley has no charm for a weakling.   It is said that the journey is more exciting than the destination itself. And when you’re here, you understand that well. Driving for long hours of a day, counting each mile is no less than a thrilling experience. It is something that every adventurer dreams of. The Majestic Key Monastery with a vainglorious mountain range trying to address its authority. Come to this barren land and you’d find nature ruling over every bit …

Kanyakumari: Life In A Day (In Pictures)

At the southernmost part of India is located the town of Kanyakumari, where India concludes its boundaries, almost gracefully, surrounded by the mighty and endless Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal – from all its directions. Known for its mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets, Kanyakumari entertains hundreds of Indian tourists flocking in everyday. But when it comes to the life of locals who are living here, everything becomes much usual and far more ordinary. Here, life in Kanyakumari in a day, for tourists and locals, alike: 5:50AM The city wakes up, as dawn starts breaking over the horizon, shell pink and faintly gold. 8:00AM A bunch of tourist figuring their way in Devi Kanya Kumari Temple – looking all but a little confused. 9:00AM Little boy chasing his dreams, or perhaps shaping them, by taking inspiration from the majestic and the endless sea. 12:00PM A street seller awaiting his first customer of the day, during the wee hours of the noon. 12:00PM “He is very intelligent, always choose the correct card,” says a tarot card reader, trying to persuade me, as a tourist. …

Hampi: A Journey To The Unknown

The sun set; the dusk fell on the river, but no lights appeared along the shore. Hunters for treasure and the seekers of fame – it felt – this river has seen them all, back in time, when they came possessing whatever they found, within the greatness the of this land, until that greatness surrendered, and started losing itself into the oblivious mystery of unknown. I wonder how many times this town fell prey to human greed, generation after generation, as people submitted themselves to the insatiable thirst to acquire more and looted the place and took back with them, all they assumed was of any value. It reminded me of that computer game I used to play, where you take a big army of knights and swordsmen and bring down your neighbouring empire, something similar – or perhaps much uncomfortable and eerily painful – it feels, might have happened here, as you walk  about the empty ruins of Hampi. Beautiful, but missed monuments, lying wasted, losing their significance to the impenetrable gloom. Temples, either sealed …

Kanyakumari: A Place Constantly Inviting Us For A Secular Sabbath

When you visit a place what is that one thing that you look out for, the most? The experience that makes that particular place unique. Sure you want to have a good time and follow your own way of travel. Those, who are all into leisure, for example, are always looking for a place to relax, which makes them hungry for beaches, when traveling around places like South India. When I came to Kanyakumari, I was expecting the same. Though I am not claiming that I travel for leisure and that I was expecting fancy beaches. But the picture I had crafted in my head was of a place, much tranquil, surrounded by sea, leaving almost no trace back to India’s much confused and muddled mainland. After all, this is where India concludes and finds itself gracefully surrounded by the mighty and the endless Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal – from almost all directions. But when you’re in Kanyakumari you don’t feel that tranquillity in its air. Nor do you get to …

Theyyam: More Than A Fancy Display Of Enactments

When it comes to telling old folklores or mythological stories, people in India often do it the hard way – by enacting dance or drama on stage. There is some kind of liveliness in such performances that not only give life to the original stories, but also bring our life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. When you watch a set of people doing complicated dance moves or enacting mythical characters – you get a sense of awe and experience a whole new reality. I think that is the beauty of such mythological stage plays. And North Kerala’s Theyyam, a popular ritual for worship in the north Malabar region (North Kerala), whose origin can be traced back to over 800 years, is no exception. With a series of ritual dance performances incorporating dance, mime and music, Theyyam showcases the ancient tribal cultures, where performers represents a heroic character with divine power – by wearing heavy make-up, huge masks and flamboyant costumes to give a dramatic appearance. The headgear and other ornamental items – which are mostly prepared …

Life In The Backwaters Of Alleppey, Kerala

Tourists in their fancy houseboats seemed high in spirit, with their impressive camera doing most of the work. But in the local ferry, the atmosphere was rather regular. Here, no one appeared to be in hurry or amazed by the arresting beauty of the backwaters in Alleppey – one of the prime highlights of tourism in Kerala. I heard a lot about the backwaters of Kerala. I heard that tourists here hire a floating houseboat and wander through its maze of interconnected lagoons, canals, lakes and inlets – home to a dazzling assortment of flora and fauna, and local villages. I heard that they spend days sitting on the deck, experiencing the tranquility of this place, with a book in their hand, while swiftly sailing through one village to the other. I wanted to explore this place too, but my own way. And here I was, in a government ferry, surrounded by a bunch of locals who were heading back from the mainland of Alleppey, with all the ration they needed, and a newspaper that they’d …

In Photos: Discovering Fort Kochi By Foot

Every place has its own defining attraction. When it comes to Kochi, the cultural capital of Kerala, The Jew Town and the Chinese fishing nets make the headlines of the travel guide books. But there is much more to see and a plenty more to do in Kochi, and the best way to submerge in its romantically artistic and historic outlook, is by travelling on foot. Ideally Kochi has two parts, the new Kochi (South Ernakulum) and the old harbour part (popularly known as Fort Kochi). Fort Kochi can easily be the most non-Keralite city. It does not give you the Kerala we picture in our mind. It does not have the relaxing house boats, nor does it have the ever-expected views of street-lined coconut trees. Expect something more refreshing when you’re here. From the smell of spices in its small streets, to some of the most colourful architecture in India – Fort Kochi has its own charm, and remains the favourite destination for tourists, over the new Kochi. Its narrow and confined streets seem …