Being a garba crazy child in Gujarat, I used to hum the Gujarati folksongs mentioning the expensive Patolas of Patan. Back then, I hardly cared about what patolas were and why were they so expensive. I hardly cared to even know about it until we planned a road trip to North Gujarat covering Modhera, Patan and Sidhpur. Read more
Have you ever been mesmerized by those images of the colourful houses that Copenhagen Tourism keeps flashing to attract the tourists? Well, then you would be surprised that India has its own set of such houses with a little pastel shade.
Siddhpur is a little town in Gujarat and surprisingly, the travel-crazy Gujaratis also seemed unaware of this quintessential gem. Read more
The shivery wind of winter brings along a flood of tourists to the only white desert of India which makes it a crowded carnival. Gujarat being my home state, I really find Rann of Kutch a touristy extravaganza during the season.
Trying to move off the touristy roads, I marked the lesser explored stops for my road trip from Gujarat to Rajasthan. Coastal Gujarat trip is what came to my mind on a first note, forests and hills were the second. In the end, I settled for the North Gujarat route considering the reasons that neither did I want to spoil the untouched coast of Gujarat nor did I want to disturb the animals in the National Parks. (I mean why… why the hell do we need to disturb the already troubled ones?) The roads will take you through the yellow blooming mustard fields and verdant farms. Though the route is quite common among the Gujjus, they hardly stop over these unsung heritage towns. Read more
“My great-grandfather was a Haji, but, he sent my grandfather to study Buddhism. My grandfather thus became famous as the lama of the Chongzee House in our village. He had studied the scriptures for around 19 years,” narrated the eldest family member of the Chongzee family. The story continued, the lama then asked his father to accept Buddhism. Read more
India is a huge country, and there are tonnes of famous (and fascinating) tourist destinations to visit.
But what if you want to do something different, and see somewhere a little less well known? Especially, for the travellers who wish to stay away from the touristy stuff and crazy crowd, finding the least known places becomes quite a task. There are many jewels hidden in almost every corner of India.
I ’ve put together a few of India’s most underrated destinations to help you make up your mind. Plan your trips now… Read more
Long before the British Colonised the islands of Bombay(Bom Bahiya), the tiny Portuguese villages flourished at the shores of the Arabian Ocean. There were a number of such Gaothans (Shore villages) earlier but now only a few exist in their original form.
The city of Mumbai is now a metropolitan and the people no longer remember the antique architectural jewels of the city. Unfortunately, these antique precincts are now overshadowed by the high-rise buildings and the modern architecture. However, despite too much of development, a few little towns tucked among the concrete jungles of Bandra, Vasai and Charni Road area have been successful in preserving the heritage. Read more
The city of Ayodhya is all geared up for a brand new temple which would almost resemble the Swaminarayan Temples all over the world. There are chances that it may lose its rustic charm of the temple ruins, houses with wooden carved balconies and of course the overall antique look of the town.
The town is a blessing for all the street photographers with the colourful doors and the painted walls all around the city. During my exploration in Ayodhya, I could capture a few of them and I just love all of them.
Rajeshbhai was totally engrossed in the work of carving a pillar for Ram Mandir despite being surrounded by a number of visitors. He belonged to Gujarat. Elated by the fact that he was from my state, I soon plunged into a long conversation with him. He said that he has been a sculptor ever since his childhood. He has been a worker for the construction of many of the stunning Jain, Hindu and Swaminarayan temples of Gujarat. He has been devotedly working for Ram Mandir since past 2 years and is expecting the time span of another 4-5 years that would be spent in Ayodhya while building the actual temple after completion of the carving work.
And he was not distracted even a bit while working with that hammer and a nail! A true unsung artist indeed!
A few of the best-decorated flower bowls can be seen in Ayodhya. During a morning walk at Ram ki Paidi, the flower market takes you back to the bygone era when King Ram might have also walked through this place for his swimming at his pool created out of Saryu River.
The century-old houses constructed in a temple style are another unique thing about Ayodhya. And such saffron clad people can really be your stunningly vibrant subject 😛
A part of Ayodhya flourishes with such grand structures while the others are tiny one floored rooms. It clearly shows the societal hierarchy in the ancient city of Ayodhya where the rich lived in the havelis while the lower class and the sepoys were allotted the tiny rooms along the fort streets.
If you see the people having conversations with cows on the streets of Ayodhya don’t be surprised. The cows here are pampered a little too much and sometimes, just like a little child, it would follow you eyeing your bag or hand if you have food.
Most of the houses have a common compound where they park their cycles and have a well for their daily water need. If you enter any one of them, it reminds you of Mumbai’s old chawls. This wasn’t probably meant for the poor but a huge rich family having a number of members. The wells definitely look pretty with that rustic charm.
The size of the house doesn’t degrade its beauty. The tiny houses are painted in red, blues, pink, purple and saffron. They look utmost beautiful in the mild light of the morning. The streets starting from the Lakshmi Dwar have the best tiny frames waiting for you.
And yea! you would see more of cycles and cycle-rickshaws in the streets than the cars or other vehicles. Not so crowded streets make it an all the more beautiful frame for you.
Did you ever try climbing up your running cycle? I mean when? When do we even use cycle for a regular commute like this!
And then you have the evenings with such photography set in the streets.
I had taken almost hundreds of pictures with different people against this background. But she nailed the candid pose. The vibrant blue background and her pastel shades blended in to create this lovely frame.
This did remind me of a jail but looking at his zeal on a Sunday evening, my mind was forced to change.
The city centre keeps bustling throughout the day, and such scenes can be seen throughout the day.
“My name is Dolkar and I am from a remote village of Padum region in Zangskar,” said a student who was given the responsibility of taking us around a school campus in Ladakh. “Initially when we joined here, it was too tiring to even take one round of the school, but now, as it is ‘my responsibility’, I got used to it,” she continued. I was surprised to see a young girl like her being so conscious of her responsibility. Moreover, she had just come from a village that is hardly connected to the other parts of the Ladakh region and was now confidently conversing and showing the school campus to the strangers. Read more
China Town in Mumbai?
A town habited by Chinese?
How is that possible?
Yes, this was my first reaction when I heard about a Chinese temple located at Mazgaon in Mumbai. Honestly, I was totally unaware of the Chinese religions and Gods. Hours of research about the same lured my curious mind to barge into this hidden jewel on a Sunday morning. Read more