• 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,  Pondicherry,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel,  Uncategorized

    Pondicherry- Conversations with the Sea

    I want the ocean breeze to wash over me and set me free… Waves splashing and rollicking, spraying their energy all over me. If only I could absorb it all… And these rocks, taking a hit every other second… Resigned to their fate, enjoying the bittersweet ritual. Are there waves inside of me, rising and ebbing? Am I the rock, am I the wave? There is a strange music to it all, a strange rhythm I mute the sounds for a moment, And pine to hear the traces of that rhythm inside me.   Feeling at peace in this sun-kissed moment, Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours The mighty…

  • 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,…

  • Travel,  Travelogue & Art Journal,  Uncategorized,  Vietnam

    Top Things to do in Vietnam

    “Vietnam. It grabs you and doesn’t let you go. Once you love it, you love it forever.” Anthony Bourdain Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam The French Old Quarters is the heart of Hanoi. It feels straight out of Arabian Nights, with old buildings, temples, pagodas, and markets. Most travelers stay here. It is close by popular destinations, such as the Temple of Literature, Hanoi opera house, National Museum of Vietnamese History, and many temples and pagodas. The best way to see this area is on foot with frequent stops for iced coffee, banh mi1, and bun cha2. 1 The Vietnamese version of a sandwich made with baguette filled with a mix of meats,…

  • Travel,  Urban Sketching,  Vietnam,  Watercolors

    Food Trails in Hanoi Old Quarter

    As we hit the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter, it was like entering a magical world. Being Indian, we found the noise and chaos quite familiar and non-threatening. Tiny food vendors on the pavements, the fragrance from each corner, the array of small seats with locals munching on sunflower seeds and sipping never-ending cups of ice tea created an atmosphere quite unique. Some of the roads were packed with backpacker abodes. Millions of things and lives coexist on these tiny lanes, enjoying the coexistence, enjoying the cacophony.   Food is an integral part of Vietnam travel. In Hanoi, like all other Vietnam cities, there are very few billboards.  What catches…

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

    Hampiness – Beyond the Ruins

    Heritage Trails in Hampi An overnight drive from Bangalore, Hampi is a heritage town in Karnataka, India. About 600 years ago, it was among the richest places in the world, ruled by the powerful Vijayanagara Empire. This city is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River. It is identified with Pampa, a princess who performed tapasya for Lord Shiva. Pleased, he married her and took the name Pampapati. The Vijayanagara Empire was built around the Shiva temple, Virupaksha. My first glimpse was of a granite boulder-strewn landscape, in shades of grey, pink, ocher, and light blue. All around were ridges and hills (huge rock piles) dotted with ancient monuments. Places…