Dev Deepawali in Varanasi ~ Travel Guide

I was in Jaunpur to attend a friend’s wedding. As a side trip, I visited Varanasi, 60 km from Jaunpur. I was travelling all the way to see Dev Deepawali in Varanasi. It is said that Dev Deepawali is one of the best times to be in Varanasi. And why not? Diwali is known as the festival of lights; Varanasi is the city of lights. And coincidentally, that night was also a Supermoon, a once…

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I ticked Bunjee Jumping in Rishikesh

2018 started on a good note. In January I was in Amritsar for my 30th birthday. In February, I was in Rishikesh. A lot of foreigners find their way to Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s one hippie town. Not to forget, Rishikesh brought the Beatles to India in search of spirituality, and Beatles brought more foreigners. Indians visit Rishikesh for an altogether different reason, vastly opposite from that of spirituality. We come here…

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A museum for toilets in Delhi

I find thematic museums very interesting. You’ll often find me giving such museums priority over a generic city museum. Like the time I visited the Naval Aviation Museum in Goa – a first in Asia and among the only 7 aviation museums in the world; or a museum dedicated to a Sindhi saint in Pune; or the wax museum in Lonavla with a Jackie Shroff statue; or the cricket museum in the suburbs of Mumbai,…

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Parvati Valley guide for backpackers

[Last update: 1 July 2019] I had read enough stories about backpacking in Himachal Pradesh. More than half of them endorsed the Himalayas, weed, solitude and how people ended up finding themselves in the mountains. The idea of backpacking in Himachal was sold to me. So when a friend suggested that we backpack in the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, I said ‘Yes’ in a blink of an eye. On this epic 8 day trip, I stayed at…

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A fleeting conversation in Kalga, Himachal

I was reading Mark Tully’s No Full Stops in India on an evening in Kalga village while bacpacking in the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh for 8 days. The weather was pleasant and the fresh mountain air was intoxicating. I sat on an old wooden bench with a table outside my lovely little homestay atop a hill. Soon a stranger stopped by to click some pictures of the valley. He asked if he could click…

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Three ‘monument’al moments in Agra

places to visit in agra

Somewhere in the Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, I was sitting outside my tent and chatting with fellow campers about our travel experiences in India. We mutually agreed that Agra left us spellbound and went on to discuss our experience in this city at length. Agra, the capital of the Mughal Empire once upon a time, is every history buff’s delight. The Mughals gave us three UNESCO heritage monuments in Agra alone…apart from several other finely…

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