Today, I’ve decided to indulge in a beautiful travel story that took place a while ago with a really interesting girl I met this New Year’s Eve called Sara. Sara is a travel writer and self-admittedly, ‘a girl with no home’. I was immediately drawn to this wispy, untethered quality about her and before we even knew it, we were hitting it off famously and planning a trip to Dharamshala.
Tucked away in the Himalayan (Dhauladhar) range lives a small town that is no secret to the world: a cosy hillside community of Tibetan refugees, saffron-robed monks, spiritual aficionados and dread-locked backpackers, neatly organised into handicraft centres, fabulous eateries, mini-treks and late-afternoon reiki appointments. Officially known as McLeod Ganj to the world, it is also Little Lhasa to those who spend months there waiting to catch a glimpse of the Dalai Lama in his official residence while in exile from Tibet.
Sara and I arrived early on a Wednesday morning thoroughly worn out from a grubby day’s travel from Bangalore to Delhi and one twisty bus-ride from Delhi to McLeod Ganj. The fatigue doesn’t deter our aahhhs and ooohs for the picturesque town, though. We check ourselves into a … Read More »
Kerala Gold shot by the ever so talented Rahul Datta of Starving Artist Videos.
Smrithi, Arathi, Rahul and I made a trip to Munnar last weekend. It took us a harrowing 16 hours to get there thanks to some real bad last minute planning (so many lessons, so well learnt). But, we all came away from the trip.. HAPPY – for some things delight our bodies even when they cause some pain (like turning over in an overnight bus to change to a side that is not yet tired..aahh). But here is some stuff we did do right and you should too.
Take long walks. Leave your camera in your bag. Ha, the irony!
Stay in weird-ass hotels. You could go terribly wrong but the story is usually worth it. Baby Shaman, I’m looking at you.
Pack light. If you need to check your luggage, you’re doing something wrong. Definitely carry that wine bottle though.
Consider this a love song.
F is wearing a laser-cut top from random online store, waxed jeans and tasseled loafers from Zara
When you live in Bangalore anything past Karnataka feels like it requires a weekend bag and a passport – and Chikmagalur, the Land of Coffee is one of those easy weekend get-away destinations that wont require you to fill out a landing card. When The Serai invited us for a Women’s Day weekend to their famously luxurious resort in Chikmagalur, I just couldn’t turn down a rare spa break opportunity with my favorite fellow bloggers to unwind and un-do the nasty knots in my shoulder from hours of shooting and then being hunched over the laptop editing my photography projects. And so to the hills we ventured, an assortment of pretty lifestyle bloggers and I (also accompanied by music and madness), reaching in just under 5 hours.
To provide a somewhat..ahem..impartial review, I must confess that I am altogether too smitten with the general atmosphere of Chikmagalur and the vibe within the hotel. I seemed to want to curiously poke my head around different corners, exploring every nook of the gorgeous resort. As a twenty-something who appreciates design and likes … Read More »
Time spent at Amer Fort, Jaipur. Hot as hell but still magical.
One can never tire of shopping in the fabulous realm of maharajas and their majestic forts
My Happy Place : A Marble Courtyard at Amer Fort, Jaipur
Sunken Hexagonal Garden in the Centre
Part Panorama of Amer Fort
Shade and Refuge from the Sun at Last!
Water Colour Dyed Dress was Perfect for Jaipur
Rose Gold + Spike Necklace – Love!
Wearing Topshop Dress, ASOS Rose Gold Cuff and Republic Of Chic Rose Gold Spike Necklace with Slippers from a local market outside Jantar Mantar
I have found my happy place in India and its Rajasthan. It’s cities are teeming with history, culture, style and tons and tons of inspiration. The crackling heat does nothing to deter me from savoring its richness. I chose a silky dress but sturdy sandals to take Jaipur in this hot, sunny day.
This ::cough::foreign-brand::cough:: Topshop dress seemed apt for the day in its fresh, tangy waves of stripe-y dyeing. Interestingly, it reminded me of the famous old craft of Leheriya (zigzag pattern of irregular colour stripes) which came to be for its a visual invocation of the flow of water. Leheria is a traditional style of tie dye practiced in Rajasthan, India that results in brightly colored cloth with distinctive patterns. The technique gets its name from the Rajasthani word for wave because the dyeing technique is often used to produce complex wave patterns which appeared pleasant and cooling to the eye (traditionally … Read More »
Shopping antique jewelry and handicraft textiles in Jodhpur, Rajasthan at a cute boutique in Ras Haveli.
Wearing : Antique spike silver bracelet from Rajasthan, Button Masala (Anuj Sharma) bracelet with an antique silver bangle from Gujarat to compliment my Kimberly Orvitz metal vest layered over a textured dress over a hand-embroidered skirt from Jaipur
I needed a break from the more simple things in my wardrobe. I was in Jodhpur. I needed to inject into my look, the colourful and cheerful vibe I saw women all around me carry. This is as far as I got :| Black with shots of colourful embroidery. You have to look up to Rajasthani women for their highly developed sense of colour and textile, they are truly an inspiration!
I did though, embrace the seasoned and stylish traveller vibe on my trip to Rajasthan. A bit of texture, a handful of fringing and smattering of embroidery – perfect for when the sun is shining. Earthy colours and rich patterns were at the core, as did mixing, matching and layering to obtain a sophisticated and well-travelled feel. Here I layer an antique spike silver bracelet from Rajasthan, Button Masala (Anuj Sharma) bracelet with an antique silver bangle from … Read More »
Trying out vintage sunglasses in Ahmedabad’s Ravivari Bazaar with Anuj Sharma
Meandering through Ahmedabad’s Ravivari as Anuj Sharma leads our pack through the sinuous, crowded shopping course of this 598 year old living heritage – the Sunday Gujri market.
Every Sunday afternoon, this riverfront bazaar changes from it’s usual sedate Sunday morning-self into a crowded thorough-fare of merchants and stalls who are selling all that you can imagine. And with that arrive the many people – young and old – who come to enjoy the sights and sounds of what’s going on.
On this particular Sunday I noticed a little bit of everything. Antique furniture, second-hand clothing, paintings, records, gramophones, war paraphernalia and vintage fashion magazines. The antique, the odd and the downright obscure. All available for a price.
Now for the ‘art of the deal’. Haggling over the price in India is a tradition as old as the country itself. More often than not you’ll barter back and forth, up and down and in the end, save enough to make Donald Trump proud. The vintage bronze jewelry was of particular interest to us and my friends and I scored pairs of antique kangans (bangles) for Rs.50 each!
When I revisit, I’d like to catch up on more of the mini-stories scattered around … Read More »
An evening in Chavakkad, Kerala properly spent building sandcastles ;)
On demand, here is the 7 day detox regime we followed in Kerala last week :)
6:00 am: 2 glasses of water with rising, warm preferably and with lemon and honey if you’re looking to lose weight.
6:15 am: Cold or room temperature hip bath
Continue with Jal Neti and Oil Pulling with sesame oil (on an empty tummy)
6:30 am: Meditate if it pleases you – it has come to be a life force for me
7:00 am: A piping hot cup of yummy ‘prakruti’ coffee sweetened with jaggery or green tea
7:30 am: Start with Pranayama and proceed with your yoga routine
(Mine consists of 12 Suryanamaskars and rigorous Vrksasana series, Trikonasana series, Sirshasana series, Chakrasana series, Paschimottasana series, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Mayurasana, Vasisthasana, Sarvangasana series)
9:00 am: Breakfast – A nourishing big mug of fruit or veggie juice – Relish it and pray it sustains you until lunch. I am always hungriest (read crankiest) at 9!
10:00 am: Mud bath followed with a cold hip bath or full immersion
Follow with a cold shower
12:30 pm: Lunch – 2 chapatis + avial + porial/subji side + salad
3:00 pm: … Read More »