The town of Pondicherry, now renamed Puducherry, was formerly a French trading post. Its well-ordered streets lined with trees and bougainvilleas, painted colonial buildings and chic boutiques, together with its spiritual aura, make it one of the most relaxing places to stop on the Chennai-Madurai road.

If there is one imperishable memory to be brought back from a trip to Kerala it is the fascinating Aranmula regatta. The snake-boats glide gracefully and majestically along the River Pampa and the hypnotic chanting of the oarsmen will echo in your mind like a happy refrain long after the race is over.

Tucked between the Laccadive Sea and a network of interconnected rivers and lagoons, Alappuzha (Alleppey) offers a picturesque waterside spectacle of palm groves, luxuriant rice fields, kingfishers darting over the water and cormorants lazily stretching their wings, fishermen repairing nets outside their doors and laundry women busy at their task.

Assam state is one of the ‘seven sisters’ of Northeast India, located along the Brahmaputra valley. If its capital offers few attractions, the surroundings in contrast, with its tropical forests – the last habitat of the one horned rhinoceros – its tea plantations and Majuli island with its dancing monks, will seduce the traveler seeking …

Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is not the most popular city of the state. Travelers usually prefer the mystic Varanasi or Agra and its famous Taj Mahal. Yet, what a wonderful surprise! Lucknow amazes us with the splendor and refinement of its historic buildings. From the 18th to the 19th century, it was the …

At the new moon in the month of Karthik (October-November) Hindus celebrate Diwali, one of their major festivals, also called the “festival of lights”. It symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness and of knowledge over ignorance.The name Diwali derives from the Sanskrit dipavali. Dipa means ‘lamp’ or ‘light’ and avali means ‘series’ or …

The colossal Gomateshwara stands tall on its hilltop, like a lighthouse protecting the town of Shravanabelagola and benevolently guiding the traveller. This Jain holy place of rocks and palm trees breathes tranquillity.

This is the second part of the travel experiences of Prosenjit Dasgupta, author of the book ‘Chasing a Dream – Journeys into the heartland of Tribal India’ where he shares his visit to the Bastar region, Chhattisgarh, from 70s to 90s.

Konark and its Sun Temple – another of those wonders that only India can produce! This architectural exploit is an allegory of the passing of time. It is a World Heritage site – and a feast for the eyes.

Khonoma … I had planned to stay there for only one day, I almost settled there! This ancient village has a real enchanting power, which instantly gives you a feeling of tranquility and serenity. Its discreet, yet welcoming inhabitants, and its preserved environment are a treat for travelers who enjoy the simple things in life …

Located 260 km from the capital Raipur, Bastar is the tribal region of Chhattisgarh.The adventurous travelers in search of change of scenery and authenticity will find there what they are looking for. Ancestral temples, dense forests, natural caves and exuberant tribal festivities will leave you with some unforgettable memories.

Modhera is a land of legend. It is said that after Lord Rama had vanquished the demon Ravana in Sri Lanka, he and his spouse Sita stopped here on their way home ; so it is not surprising that the Solanki sovereigns should have chosen this holy ground to build a magnificent and wholly unique …

Khajuraho, a small village in Madhya Pradesh, is reputed for its sumptuous temples, built under the Chandela dynasty and listed as Unesco World Heritage. They are famous all over the world for their relief sculptures of the “art of love”.

Onam is Kerala’s biggest festival. It falls in the Hindu month of Chingam (August-September) and marks the return to Earth of the legendary king Mahabali. It is the occasion for colourful festivities that spotlight all that’s best in Kerala culture. Although the origin of the festival lies in Hindu mythology, Onam is celebrated with enthousiams …

Ganesha Chaturthi is one of the main Hindu festivals. It celebrates the birth of Ganesh, the famous elephant-headed god, son of Lord Shiva and the goddess Parvati. Ganesh is supposed to have been born on Shukla Chaturthi (the fourth day of the waxing moon) of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (mid-August to mid-September). Ganesh symbolises wisdom, …

The Hindu festival of Krishna Jayanti or Krishna Janamashtami marks the birth of the dark-faced, flute-playing god Krishna. He is one of the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon and the story of his life has influenced in many ways the culture of India. Krishna has many faces: he is the symbol of pure …

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a Hindu festival that takes place every year in August, mainly in the North of India, and celebrates the unique bond of love, protection and respect between brothers and sisters. This celebration delivers a strong message of fraternity so that this ceremony extends often to the other members of the …

Char Dham, meaning ‘four abodes’, is the pilgrimage circuit around the four most revered pilgrimage sites in all India. These are in Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram. Over time, another Char Dham pilgrimage circuit has developed, in Uttarakhand state in North India. It is known as Chota Char Dham, ‘the four small abodes’ or ‘Himalayan Char …

If you pass by Udaipur, Rajasthan, you may like to make a short detour to Poshina, you will not regret it! The winding road that leads you to this authentic village of Gujarat crosses the Aravallis mountains, particularly enchanting after the monsoon, when the lush nature offers a colour palette of intense and fresh greens. What a …

Mandvi is a charming coastal town about sixty kilometers from Bhuj, the capital of the Kutch region in Gujarat. This is usually the last stop on the journey to Kutch. Travellers come here to have a relaxing break on its white sand beach before heading back to Ahmedabad. Mandvi was in the 18th century a …

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