• India,  Karnataka,  Travel

    Christmas Eve at Wonderful Western Hills, Sakleshpur

    In our last holiday trip of 2018, we were returning after a wonderful weekend stay at Attihalli, Sakleshpur. Our hearts still yearned for some more time in the hills. My husband happened to notice a rickety signboard, Western Hills, beside a dusty path that disappeared into the hills. It looked interesting, so we followed our instinct. It was 24th December. I didn’t expect to find rooms for six people. However, Hemanth, who manages the place offered us a spacious dorm-type of a room overlooking the coffee plantation. We got the room for 3000 rupees for six people, which fit our Christmas budget quite well. The small property makes for a…

  • India,  Jammu and Kashmir,  Travel

    Srinagar, Shikara and Kehwa

    We started back from Pahalgam for Srinagar. Again beautiful views on the way, saw many houses with apple trees in their backyard, apart from the traditional larger orchards. Apple Orchard Stopover On the way, stopped over at Apple orchards again, where the owners sell fresh-cut fruits as well as freshly squeezed juices, cartons of apples of both varieties- Golden & regular red apples. The former can stay fresh for 3 months, but Red variety gets spoiled sooner. We tasted the apples and also had the freshly squeezed juice(made by hand-operated machine). It tasted heavenly, and unlike anything, I have had before. Naturally chilled in the fresh Winter air and seemed…

  • India,  Orissa,  Travel

    7 Best Street Foods In Bhubaneswar, Orissa

    Earthy, simple, and full of flavors – Oriya cuisine offers a range of hearty dishes. Oriyas love their meals accompanied by plenty of veggies, fish or mutton, and something crispy, like fried potatoes and Karela chips. We also adore our snacks – sweet and savory. Growing up in Bhubaneswar, I remember evenings were spent in informal gatherings where people would eat snacks, chat and just while away time (called ‘katti kariba‘ in Oriya). During the festival of Raja, all Oriya families prepare special sweets called Pithas. And, many of these Pithas are available in select outlets, such as at Ekamra Haat. Pithas are different types of sweet rice flour cakes, flavored with saunf…

  • India,  Jammu and Kashmir,  Travel

    A Short Autumn Trip to Kashmir: Pahalgam and Apple Orchards

    Part 1 in a series of posts on Kashmir. The extraordinary, almost unearthly beauty of the Kashmir valley made it a strange conflict to cover. In the morning, the window of my houseboat on the Dal Lake would be open, and as I lay in bed I could see the reed cutters and fishermen. The shikara canoes would be in the foreground; behind were the bridges and waterways, the willows and poplars, and the orchards of apricots and almonds. There were children paddling in the shallows and girls carrying brush-wood bundles on their heads. Beyond stretched the old Mughal watergardens and, above them, the mulberry trees of the silk farmers. Crowning all…

  • India,  Karnataka,  Travel

    Hampi – Beauty is Truth, and Truth Beauty

                       Memory (Written by Agni Barathi  – Technologist, philosopher, poet, and wanderer.) Who would remember the sighs, the groans the cries, the howls, the laughs, the smiles? Who would remember, the great grand works of he who tilled these fallow lands of he who carved the unyielding rocks of she who sang a song of new spring of she who drew kolams at dawn? Who would remember them whose sighs, groans and cries, and howls, laughs and smiles still echo off these magnificent rocks on which the monkeys climb and play in oblivious abandon. Hampi My first glimpse of Hampi was of a granite…

  • India,  Karnataka,  Travel

    Coffee, Cardamom, Campfire, and Calmness at Hema Koota

    Hema Koota is an authentic homestay that offers the simple pleasures of life (delicious food, friendly people, and nature) making for a perfect weekend getaway. Every year, the onset of Christmas vacations heralds an exodus in Bangalore. Some companies shut down for the year-end. IT employees try to use up their remaining leaves. Everyone has a reason to head out for their last travel of the year. We too decided to drive to the hills to enjoy the winter chill and the coffee harvest season. While scrolling through listings on travel websites I came across Hema Koota in Hassan. Their website had a gallery of beautiful photos, with one of…

  • Pondicherry,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel

    Guest Post: Pondicherry-The French Connection

    A Dream There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme Truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony where all the fighting instincts of man would be used exclusively to conquer the causes of his sufferings and miseries, to surmount his weaknesses and ignorance, to triumph over his limitations and incapacities; a place where the needs of the spirit and the concern for progress would take precedence over the satisfaction of desires and passions,…

  • Jammu and Kashmir,  Travel

    Guest Post: When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left!

      About Shalzmojo An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on This post is part of the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo. Here’s my cross post on her blog, about some of the interesting things to do in Bhutan.   Hello readers. I am happy to be here on Seema’s blog and bring to you one of my unexpected travel adventures. I hope you enjoy reading it. I am an avid traveler and my…

  • Goa

    St. Anne Church, Olaulim, Goa

    St. Anne church is a hidden gem in the quiet Olaulim village. We found it while riding around Pomburpa village, during our stay at the Loja. In the evening, churchgoers gather here for mass. The rest of the day, the Church stands quietly. Witnessing life passing by for the last 266 years or so. The gentle sway of trees, the white of the church, and the slightly overgrown and abandoned feel of the garden in front of it … something wild and peaceful.  Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. She is the patron of housewives, women in labor, cabinet makers and miners. Her emblem is a door (I tried…

  • Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Vietnam

    Awesome Two-Week Itinerary for Vietnam

    “Vietnam. It grabs you and doesn’t let you go. Once you love it, you love it forever.” Anthony Bourdain I have always wanted to visit South East Asia, and when we finally planned a 2-week trip this year my husband immediately said: “Let’s do Vietnam.” Anthony Bourdain’s enticing depiction of Vietnamese cuisine drew him to the country. For me, it was a book, called Saigon which had been on our bookshelves since I could read. When I grew up, and finally read the book, it took me to a place both familiar and exotic. The maps were pulled up on our laptops and we started planning our journey. Vietnam is a…