• 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…

  • Porthimund near Ooty
    Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Uncovering the secret Porthimund lake in the Nilgiris

    There is a lot more to Ooty and the Nilgiris than the cliched tourist brochures and websites would have you believe. I couldn’t get enough of the Nilgiris during my last trip and knew for sure there were a lot many things that lay hidden. To uncover these, you either have to know people who know about these ‘secrets’ or be a Google ninja. Either way (and especially if you own a vehicle), sometimes the best map to follow may be your intuition. Parsons valley and Porthimund lake were just two best kept secrets that I unearthed through countless hours spent reading forums and blogs. And once a rough itinerary…

  • 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…