• Side Pockets,  Tamil Nadu

    RE-BLOG: A Higher Place, A Divine Treat | OPEN Magazine

    Cannot help but re-blog a few scintillating pieces of writing that I read recently. The first one begins with an introduction to the quaint British concept of hill stations and then delves into details of the writer’s experiences in the charming town of Kodaikanal. Rajni George paints a most endearing picture, one filled with fond memories, insights about the places that only somebody who actually grew up there can reveal, and most importantly, wonderful anecdotes about the people who live in Kodaikanal. Read on to find out more.. A Higher Place | OPEN Magazine. The next one is a lip-smacking, culinary journey through the temple towns of Tamil Nadu. V. Shoba guides us through a labyrinthine path across some esoteric and some famous…

  • Misty forests near Dolphin's Nose
    Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Kodaikanal Trip Continued..

    [Contd from here..] With Mannavanur and Poombarai behind us, it was onward to Kodaikanal and only later did I realize that we had missed the beautiful town of Kukkal and the quaint and charming man-made lake in it. Something for the next visit I suppose, if there is one. But considering how breathtakingly beautiful Mannavanur was, I am optimistic there will be another. On the way, we spotted this huge, fallen tree in the jungle. Because of the way it had fallen, it had enclosed a patch of resplendent green grass that stood out in sharp contrast to the dark trees around it. As we walked towards the clearing, grass…

  • Mannavanur Lake
    Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Discovering Mannavanur on a trip to Kodaikanal

    It was a lovely Saturday morning – not too cold, with a gentle breeze blowing. Our vehicle had stopped that day at a decrepit tea shop a few kilometers outside Salem. I asked the kid there for directions to the toilet. In response, he just pointed to the backyard and uttered a single word “kaadu” (forest). I was sure he had misunderstood my question, so I came back to the car with a bemused smile on my face. Kodaikanal to Mannavanur Our plan was to spend one day in the idyllic environs of Mannavanur, a small village 30 odd kms to the west of the popular hill station of Kodaikanal,…

  • Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Exploring Avalanche and Emerald in Ooty

    2013 had dawned upon us and having traveled to Yercaud, Hampi, Chikmagalur, Belur, Halebid, Bijapur, Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal in the past 6 months, there was an ardent desire to kick in the new year with another trip. None of us had ever been to the Nilgiris and off-season is, I feel, always a better time to visit popular tourist destinations. What is more, I also had the beautiful twin lakes of Avalanche and Emerald in mind that are not exactly mainstream, touristy ‘places to visit‘ in Ooty. The Nilgiris, so named due to the mist induced bluish appearance and also due to the blue Kurinji flowers that bloom once in…