• 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…

  • Poetry,  Writings

    A Shikara Ride

      Still are the waters, Tranquil, alive and poised Bouncing the sun off, From behind the hills high above The Shikara forms a silhouette, Quietly advancing at the horizon.   As we travel further, Colors emerge, then slowly fade away. Images blend into reflections. Holding a poignant past. Almost melancholic, almost sad.  

  • 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…

  • Coffee Connections

    Back again in a coffee plantation

              This post is a part of a blog series on Coffee by Tushar Shukla. Living in South India for over a decade, I have visited coffee plantations quite a few times in Coorg, Chikmagalur and Tamil Nadu (Honey Valley, Ozone Valley, Makkithitta, Chingara, Club Mahindra Madikeri and Virajpet, Lake Forest Yercaud etc.). And Coorg being a favorite for us, have fond memories of driving over from the busy city streets and finding solace in the rejuvenating lush valleys full of coffee and pepper plants. Most of the homestays and resorts arrange estate walks, which gave us an opportunity to explore the terrains on foot. One…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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,  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…

  • Goa,  India,  Travel

    The Loja by the Water: A Genuine Goan Getaway

    Our first brush with Goan beaches was at Arambol back in 2012, which was a typical Goa holiday of beaches, beer, and buzzing party atmosphere. This year we returned to the sunshine state in search of a different experience – a quieter one – which we found at the beautiful Loja by the Water. What the Loja felt like The Loja is an intimate cabin just right for a couple or a single traveler. Slanting red tiled roof, a wall painting on one corner, and cool red-peroxide floor as you step in – I loved the earthy feel. The cabin is divided into a living area and a kitchenette with a dining…