Colors of Monsoon in Chikmagalur

Monsoons are beautiful, especially in the western ghats. There are no second thoughts about it. The entire region looks as refreshingly green as it can, thanks to the monsoon showers that wash – off every single strand of dust leaf small or big. So a ride somewhere in the western ghats was inevitable and ‘Where’ was not a tough question to answer. The fact that Chikmagalur is arguably the most beautiful part of Karnataka and its close proximity from Bangalore only made matters much easier and it seemed that it was just a matter of couple more days before we were off to Chikmagalur. That was last year, a plan which never materialized. This monsoon however, things were better.

Magical clouds and refreshing greenery, Chikmagalur

Magical clouds and refreshing greenery, Chikmagalur

As we rode through the switchbacks on our way to the Baba Budangiri peak, the fog seemed to grow thicker and thicker.… continue reading

Fort Aguada and its Lighthouse

Overlooking the confluence of the Mandovi river and the Arabian sea, fort Aguada has been standing tall on the Bardez Peninsula for over four hundred years. From being a reference-point to ships sailing through this part of the Arabain sea to being one of the biggest aguadas (watering-place in Portuguese) in whole of Asia of the time where ships could replenish their drinking water stocks to being the most prized and crucial fort of the Portuguese to finally becoming a prison now known as the Aguada jail is still operational, fort Aguada has donned many hats over the centuries. It is one of the must-visit places in Goa so a trip there was but natural, what if it was towards the end of my solo trip to Goa.

sunset at fort aguada goa photos

Colors of Sunset, Aguada Fort – Goa

Winding through beautiful village roads canopied by tall coconut trees that helped make the ride a pleasant one, I reached Fort Aguada a few hours before the closing time. … continue reading

Ruins, Rocks and Greenery

‘If you have to relax in the shade, the over-hanging rock there seems a much better choice’, I said to myself as I halfheartedly pulled myself from the soft grass that had been my bed for the past half an hour. The sun seemed to be at its brightest and no one in his right mind would even think of walking even a small distance out in this heat if (s)he doesn’t have to, let alone climb huge boulders a hundred feet high. I however, love climbing so climb I will, I decided. With heat billowing from the hot-like-a furnace rocks under my feet and the scorching rays of the sun from above, there I was, making my way up through thorny bushes and narrow gaps.

rocks at hampi

The inviting ‘top’ – Hampi

The views got better every time I turned to look back stopping at random intervals. continue reading

Gokarna sunsets

Sunsets are beautiful. Sunsets where the land gives way to the vastness of the sea, even better. After all my visits to some popular while some not so popular beaches, this is something I can vouch for. While it is true that no sunset (or sunrise) can be as beautiful and enchanting as those over the Himalayas, beach-sunsets too, have something unique about them. As the Sun slowly sets over the horizon, everything at the beaches seem to slow down. After-all, it is indeed very hard to notice anything else as the rays of the setting start Sun start painting the sky with a thousand shades of yellow and then red.

Sunset at Kudle Beach, Gokarna

Sunset at Kudle Beach, Gokarna

Just like everyone else, I too like to sit by the beach and watch this magical display of colors, something which has been happening since billions of years but still feels uniquely gorgeous every single time.… continue reading

The Fort, the sea and the sunset

I am a mountain lover, I have always been one. There is nothing that makes me more happy than being in the mountains. They calm me down and make me happy from inside. Those of you who follow me already are well aware of my love for the mountains but what you might not know is that, I also have a thing about historic places and ruins. And when it comes to forts, they are even more special. So let me tell you about one. One which has stood for centuries by the Arabian-sea, has seen different rulers rule it — from the Portuguese to emperor Akbar to the Marathas.

chapora fort goa sunset vagator beach

The setting sun and what is left of the fort

Given the fact that I am not much of a beach-person unlike most who visit Goa for its beautiful and happening beaches, I wanted to try to see the historical Goa. … continue reading

Trekking under the Moon

The invitation for the trek had come as a surprise but I did not think twice before responding to it in affirmative. Irrespective of whether I am trekking in the Himalayas or trekking on railway treks, I have always enjoyed them, so saying yes to yet another trek was the most natural thing to do. But that was not the only thing that had intrigued me about this particular one. The fact that the yes came a split second sooner than it would come otherwise was also because of the fact that this was going to be a night trek. Something which I had never experienced before.

bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

The bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

Leaving puffs of smoke behind, our matador crawled through the narrow roads of Gokarna for what seemed to be hours, with more than twice the number of people crammed inside the vehicle than it was designed to accommodate.… continue reading

Off-roading fun with the new Land Rover

We were supposed to meet the last month but few things came in between and we couldn’t. As they say, things happen only when they are supposed to! When our proposed meeting did not materialize the last time, I, by no chance had expected another meeting happening so soon. However, serendipity works in strange ways! Within less than a month of having missed the first chance, another date with the beauty was fixed. And in what a wonderful way! I have always fancied SUVs. The newer ones, all the more. So when I found one fine morning in the outskirts of Bangalore fall set to go on a date with one from the Jaguar Land Rover stable, I was way too much excited.

The New Discovery Sport Land Rover

The New Discovery Sport

At the Wild Re-treat Adventure Club, I was all set to experience some off-roading fun with Jaguar and Land Rover’s all new Discovery Sport.… continue reading

The contrast called Gokarna

Gokarna I had heard was what Goa used to be, a significant number of years back. Clean & not so crowded beaches, a laid back vibe and a lot of hippies enjoying the sun. While that was exactly what I found when I reached Gokarna on a humid April afternoon, what took me by surprise was another side of this quaint little coastal town. One which I had known nothing about. One which seemed to be deeply religious and has chosen to move ahead at its own pace rather than trying to race with the world.

Intricate carvings on a wooden rath, Gokarna

Intricate carvings on a wooden rath, Gokarna

As I walked through the narrow lanes of this hippie-hangout, I found myself lost in the beauty and simplicity of the place. Blue, green and bright-yellow houses with red-tilled roofs gave the place a rustic charm.… continue reading