• Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A road trip following the Kaveri

    The Kaveri (or Cauvery) has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. For peasants and the gentry, it is a source of life and livelihood, for pilgrims it is as sacred as the Ganges and for politicians, it is a pivot that might decide the fate of the next election. For tourists and travelers though, the river can be a source of great inspiration. For it is born in a spring adjoining a temple, been a witness to kingdoms and civilizations of great importance through the ages, it’s waters irrigate the great rice bowl lands of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A gently flowing river, I have often wondered…

  • Mangalore bun at Mita Samaj
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    The taste of Udupi

    My earliest memories of eating out, is going to the Udupi joint in our town and digging into the humble Vada Sambar. Crunchy outside, piping hot inside, dipped in a slightly spicy sambar – it has passed down the years as my go-to snack whenever I step into an Udupi restaurant for breakfast. And speaking of restaurants in Udupi, one of the reasons I traveled the Karnataka coastline was also to taste Udupi’s eponymous cuisine. And we had in Chethan, our friend and also a native of Udupi, our best guide to the place and it’s famous food. Woodlands hotel Udupi Our first stop, was for lunch at the famous Woodlands hotel. We…

  • Karnataka coastline
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A road trip along the Karnataka coast – Udupi and Mangalore

    [Continued from Part I] Often on the Karnataka coast, you come across endearing sights of backwaters surrounded by palm and coconut trees, swaying gently with the sea breeze. There is an alternate version of life going on, on these waters that is at once laid back, languid and yet extremely charming. Hands up, if you haven’t sketched some of these scenes in your primary school drawing books. Udupi One does not need to talk a lot on Udupi, considering it is the birthplace of the eponymous Udupi cuisine, that is now famous all over the world. A visit to the Krishna temple and the various eateries dotting the road to…

  • Sowparnika river Karnataka coastline
    Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    A road trip along the Karnataka coast – Honnavar to Maravanthe

    Far from the cliched list of ‘tourist places in Karnataka’, a road trip along the picturesque Karnataka coast (called the Kanara) had been on my mind since the past year and a half. For some reason though, I kept pushing it down the priority list. In August this year however, this dream of a road trip materialized. Although we skipped Karwar and Gokarna (Gokarna, well, started it all) since we’d been there earlier, we did cover the 180 km stretch from Honnavar to Mangalore. This covers major stretches of the Uttara Kannada district (Karwar-Bhatkal), Udupi district and Dakshina Kannada district. Even in the peak of the monsoon season, I was undaunted…

  • Jog falls
    Karnataka

    What a Jog

    Many a time has an enthusiastic tourist made the long journey to Jog falls to end up with something like this. This was in the peak of the monsoon season, as you can make out from the greenery around. Supposedly, one of the highest waterfalls in India, its moniker ‘Joke falls’ among blogging circles is well-deserved going by this photograph. And to think, the state authorities have created a parking lot, a state tourism hotel, viewing areas to benefit the hordes of tourists. Just wonder whether somebody forgot to turn on the secret waterfall switch. Honestly though, I have no idea if this is due to the rainfall deficit or…

  • A hot tea in Dharamsala
    Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Himachal Pradesh,  Karnataka,  Photo essays,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    The smaller moments in travel

    Often during my travels, I ponder about the reasons why I travel and about what I’ll take back from my experiences. Most of it till now, has been about breathtaking moments that are steeped in visually arresting sights. Sometimes, it is also about astounding architectural creations that have withstood the ravages of time and the elements and given me a peek into fascinating historical accounts of the times gone by. However, bundled in between these are the smaller moments – the ones that have filled me with pure joy or added that bright spark to a trip and occasionally, left a profound influence on my opinion about various aspects of…

  • Karnataka,  Travel Bag

    Chikmagalur Once Again – Kalasa

    Corporate life can make for an insufferable companion sometimes. Some reminiscing about the Chikmagalur trip led to a bout of deja-vu and a strong inclination to visit the Western ghats again, only, this time the monsoons seemed to be in full force with no signs of relenting. To our luck, sunlight dawned one beautiful day that week and with some pushing by my friends, onward we went one Friday night, to a little known place called Kalasa – a town shadowed by its more famous (but still relatively unknown) companion – a pilgrimage town called Horanadu. Kalasa also serves as the base for people trekking up the Kudremukha range. From…