• Photo essays

    What a beautiful world #4 – The Longest Train Ride

    One of the most fascinating aspects of travel in India, are it’s extensive rail networks. And what better way to explore the diversity of the country, than by getting on board the longest train ride India has to offer. Snaking it’s way from Kanyakumari at the southern tip to Dibrugarh in Assam in the Northeast, train no 15906 is eponymously named the Vivek Express after the revered Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda. Befitting moniker as well, since the Swami toured the Indian subcontinent extensively, wishing to understanding the conditions prevailing in British ruled India in the late 19th century. National geographic photographer Matthieu Paley got on board the Vivek express and…

  • Nostalgia

    The lost romance of train travel

    “The trains [in a country] contain the essential paraphernalia of the culture: Thai trains have the shower jar with the glazed dragon on its side, Ceylonese ones the car reserved for Buddhist monks, Indian ones a vegetarian kitchen and six classes, Iranian ones prayer mats, Malaysian ones a noodle stall, Vietnamese ones bulletproof glass on the locomotive, and on every carriage of a Russian train there is a samovar. The railway bazaar with its gadgets and passengers represented the society so completely that to board it was to be challenged by the national character. At times it was like a leisurely seminar, but I also felt on some occasions that…

  • 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…