• India,  Karnataka,  Travel,  Urban Sketching

    Urban Sketching: Siddhaih Road, Bangalore

    The Urban Sketchers Bengaluru meet in the first week of August was all about automobile repair shops. We met across  Urvashi Theater. A relic from the single screen theater era, this theater was famous for its great sound system. K. C. Nanjunde Gowda, a film producer and prominent businessman of Karnataka, constructed it during the 1970s. Before multiplexes became popular, this was a hep place where college students would hang-out. We walked along the Siddhaih Road and found a nook where we could gather and sketch. The turnout was very good with some newcomers and a guest from Portugal. We also had a few goats who ambled around quite comfortable being sketched! I…

  • India,  Orissa,  Travel

    Celebrating Indian Handloom Day

    The Amlan Store, of Orissa Cooperative Tasar and Silk Federation Ltd (SERIFED), has beautiful murals showcasing Orissa handloom. I have inherited my love of handlooms from an aunt, whom I have seen wearing absolutely gorgeous handloom sarees. Every trip home includes a shopping trip with my aunt and uncle to get something handloom. The best pampering! Nowadays, where ever I travel, I try to pick up something handloom as a souvenir. I feel so privileged to live in a country with an endless variety of handlooms. It’s the best cloth to wear. Draped as a saree, designed into a crisp skirt, a striking kurta or a shawl – it is…

  • South India,  Uncategorized,  Urban Sketching,  Visual Journal

    Dust, Noise, and Colors – Urban Sketching at Russell Market

    Russell Market was an assault on the senses – there was movement everywhere, a cacophony of colors and shapes, making it impossible to decide what to sketch. I was walking around the Russell Market area in mid-July with my fellow urban sketchers. A cool breeze kept us company, as we walked around looking for sketching points. We met at the auto stand, opposite St. Mary’s Basilica. And walked up to Russel Market. An old, peach-colored building, with Indo-Islamic style turrets and arched windows, greeted us. As I walked in, abundant flower and fruit shops greeted me. The market building also offers pet shops, gardening equipment, dry fruits, toys, groceries, and many other…

  • India,  Karnataka,  South India,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal

    Benne Dosa at Gururaj Canteen, the Oldest Dosa Canteen In Davengere

    On our way to Sirsi, on a hot summer afternoon in May, we stopped at Davengere, to sample the Benne Dosas which have made this tiny city so very famous on the Karnataka map. And of course, we wanted to have it at the most authentic place possible. After some scouting around in the busy city street, typical of small towns like this, with fruit vendors, flower sellers, goli soda carts, and small eateries, we gathered that the place to be at is GURURAJ CANTEEN. We walked around, avoided the larger shops with bigger boards until we found out this hole in the wall shop. It was in a small…

  • Orissa,  Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal

    The INTACH Warrior of Orissa: Anil Dhir

    ‘Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’ – Ibn Battuta Orissa is often in the news for all the wrong reasons – a cyclone, famine, political issues. Living outside Orissa for many years, I have often found friends and colleagues clueless about the cultural and historical significance of this ancient land. So, this year I was planning to travel to Bhubaneswar for a longer duration and was keen to explore its cultural footprint. I wanted something beyond the touristy articles listing Khandagiri, Udaygiri, Puri, and Konark. I asked friends, family, and searched online for authentic travel books on Orissa.  This search led me to Mr. Anil Dhir; a…

  • Urban Sketching

    Urban Sketching – Karnataka High Court – Art is in Session

    Last night’s rainfall washed all the trees and buildings in and around Cubbon Park. The heart of my city was in vivid mode. We met at the Karnataka High Court for our weekend Bangalore Urban Sketching. The two-storeyed, red building with white highlights stood out amongst the greenery all around. This building was constructed in 1869 for the Mysore High Court. It housed the eighteen public offices of Mysore Government, earning it the name of Attara Katcheri.

  • India,  Kerala,  Travel

    Zoned Out at Pepper House

    Pepper House is a hub for arts, with posters of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 still adorning the notice boards. One side of the building faces the canals. I remember seeing the magical view of the waterfront with ships passing through, providing an ideal photo op for lover of this specific setting- maritime, colonial structures, the retro feeling and the leisurely elegance of having a coffee amidst such historical ramparts.