A day in Malacca – Malaysia’s red town

As I alight from a luxurious bus from Kuala Lumpur, the first thing I notice about Malacca is its distinctive color. Standing there on the road I turn full circle and cannot believe my eyes. The buildings, doors, the pavements, and even the hoardings… everything in the vicinity is red.


Have I landed in a little girl’s dream world? I am

Malaysian International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards MITBCA

As you all know, I was invited by the ministry of Tourism, Malaysia to present a paper in the conference Malaysian International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards MITBCA.
It was a wonderful experience. I got to meet so many people whom till now I knew only virtually. Shared and learnt many experiences and tips as well. It was a two day conference with emphasis on movement of social media in travel and leisure industry.

Malaysian International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards MITBCA

The Tourism minister with the speakers. Can you guess which one is me? 🙂

Malaysian International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards MITBCA

I am with the Tourism Minister YB Dato’ Dr Ng Yen Yen, posing for the photographers. 🙂

The topics at Malaysian International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards MITBCA ranged from

Chandigarh, any French Connection?

Chandigarh, any French Connection?

All cities in India (also in the world), save a few, have evolved from one or more villages. Their strategic location made economic progress and acted as a magnet for people from other habitats to grow into a metropolis.
Mind you, not all the villages and towns end up (read grow up) into cities…fortunately. 🙂
On the other hand, a few cities are built from scratch.

Chandigarh is one such city. The city was originally envisaged to be the capital of Punjab but eventually, after the birth of Haryana ended being the capital of Haryana as well.
I think this is the only city in the world that is the capital of two different (also too different! ) states. The initial plan of the city was done by an American and completed by Le Corbusier, a swiss born French architect and town planner. The French connection, unfortunately, ends here.

rock garden chandigarh

Figures made of glass bangles at Rock garden.

There is

Stop cribbing, Bangaloreans!

Stop cribbing, Bangaloreans!
My trips to Bangalore are always intriguing. While some of the locals crib about the place for one reason or the other, the beautiful city of gardens, Benne dosa and filter coffee gets me hooked every time I visit it.

I have been to many, many cities and here are five reasons why I think Bangalore is better than any other metro city of India.

1. Greenery – It is not by chance the city has earned the moniker “Garden City”. The city indeed has trees lined up on both sides of almost all the streets, even smallest of them and it is not some new plantation drive by the present government. It’s been like this since my first visit many years ago. There are several parks and gardens, that are scattered around the city. Sure, urbanization has claimed some of the green patches, but it is still, by far the “greenest” city in India.

2. Weather – The moment I step in the city, what

5 Things to do on tight budget in Amritsar

If you are on a whirlwind day tour of Amritsar, like we were, then the following question would have cropped up in your gray cells more than once.

What am I going to do in Amritsar?

Well, here is a gist of what we did.
We’d chalked out our plan with the help of the rickshaw fellow and the receptionist at the hotel.

golden temple

1) Have stuffed kulchas, paranthas or Lachedar parantha for breakfast at the any one of the many dhabas around the bus stand. Or you can savour on Sarson ka Saag & Makki ki Roti or Rajma Chawal. I can tell you we had some of the best stuffed kulchas and paranthas in our lives. Served with

Malli to Nalli

Malli to Nalli

My tryst with Chennai (formerly Madras) includes Sarvana stores, Kumaran silks, Nallis, Pothys and GRT….. Dhal powders, (different types of podis such as paruppu podis etc), maanga inji pickle. The list goes on…
Forget about anything else, my visits to Chennai are combination of smaller excursions to acquire these much sought after possessions.

As much as I dislike Chennai for its anti Hindi propaganda, irritating auto rickshaws, the hot & humid weather and the city’s laid back attitude, my sole aim to enjoy this city is by shopping there. A few short visits that I’ve made to Chennai, as it appears to me, is a big shopping hub for north Indian people.

chennai shopping

Kumaran silks, Lalitha jewelery & Sarvana stores. What else do you want?

Was I always so keen to go there?

Udaipur in half a day

Our bus rolls into Udaipur Bus Stand at twenty past one a.m. ! Yes, past midnight and we do not have a hotel reservation in Udaipur. At the moment we will not go into why and how of the episode. It is part of the challenge we had taken up for our journey and right now we have just arrived from Ajmer.

I fend off the few Auto fellows who are ready to ply me to wherever I want to go even at that ungodly hour. It is actually scary!
At times like this I loathe my way of travel wishing I had a planned trip to Udaipur. 50 meters out I am at a large junction of a wide road and notice that there are indeed several hotels. Gingerly I make my way towards the nearest one and I am lucky.
The hotel is fine; the sleepy guy at the reception is still courteous and shows me my room. After freshening up, while trying to sleep I make my plan for the next day.
Udaipur palace

The 3-arched entrance, Tripolia.


Peaks and Valleys of Delhi

Peaks and Valleys of Delhi
Do you have just love and nothing but love for a city in India? Not me.
I think I have a love hate relationship with every city in India. I like certain things about a city and at the same time I wish I could have reasons not to dislike it.
Delhi is first among them.
Being the capital city it has a few privileges that are visible at first sight but the city also has a down side to it. While you love the variety and richness of its food, you hate the arrogant & careless attitude of people.

Generally there is a scant regard for law and every one know some one in the higher echelons of the society or the corridors of power! Often the smallest of an argument is decided on the basis of who has the more powerful acquaintance. 🙂
But there is also a particular charm about the people. From a top position holder in a company to the cleaner of a bus, most commonly spoken language is Hindi. Their Hindi is very different from what is spoken in Mumbai or any other metro.

Let’s talk about the transport.

As much you are in awe of