• 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…

  • 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…