Other

Delhi

Lotus Temple – Baháʼí House of Worship in Delhi

Notable for its flower-like shape and very reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, the Lotus Temple in Delhi is the first memorable building I recall seeing on my very first trip to India back in 2005. At the time I was part of a tour group undertaking the […]

Jantar Mantar – Delhi

The Jantar Mantar was built in 1724 by Sawai Jai Singh, on land owned by his great grandfather Mizra Raja Jai Singh of Amer. It is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments (or observatory), one of five such collections of instruments he constructed across India. The best preserved […]

Goa

Viceroy’s Arch

Close to the Mandovi river and Church of St.Cajetan in Old Goa is Viceroy’s Arch. The arch was originally erected in 1599 by Viceroy Francisco da Gama (great grand son of Vasco Da Gama), and was once over the main street entering Old Goa from the river. It was built in […]

Loliem Vetal – Goa

One of my many reasons for visiting Goa was to seek out the Loliem Vetal, which proved to be quite difficult as my driver had never heard of it. Loliem is a small village in south Goa‘s Canacona Taluka. On entering the village look out for an arched […]

Gujarat

Ahmedabad Old City Heritage Walk

During my stay in Ahmedabad I signed up for a morning heritage walk around the old city. Having done a similar walk in Pune, I’ve become fascinated by some of these old structures and just how ornate and decorative they can be. I’d imagine most people (ok, most […]

Jammu & Kashmir

Ladakh – An Introduction

In the far north of India set within the Himalayas lies Ladakh. Known as “Little Tibet”, it is a land of dramatic landscapes and mystical Buddhist monasteries. This is my introduction to the region, detailing what can be seen : West of Leh – all reachable as a day excursion […]

Leh Heritage Walk

As an amateur archaeologist, it should come as no surprise that I am passionate about the heritage of any country I visit, and in particular any efforts that are being made to preserve what heritage remains. India in particular faces a constant struggle to preserve their heritage buildings, awareness […]

Hemis Festival 2015 – Day 2

Having attended Day 1 of the Hemis Festival I was a little unsure what to expect from the second day. I arrived early again, and it soon became clear that it was going to be far less crowded than the previous day. This is probably not that surprising as […]

Hemis Festival 2015 – Day 1

According to the Tibetan calendar, the great annual festivals held in the villages of Ladakh takes place in winter, with the exception of thseshu held at Hemis in summer. This is one of the most important events of the valley, its chief feature being the presentation of a […]

Pangong Tso – Ladakh

Pangong Tso in the eastern highlands of Changthang bordering Tibet is one of Ladakh’s most spectacular and popular destinations. When I visited Ladakh last year I had originally intended to visit this lake as well as having a second excursion into the Nubra valley, but with limited time I […]

Turtuk

Turtuk lies 85km beyond Hundar in the Shyok Valley, and was the highlight of my stay in the region. The journey to get there is nothing but breathtaking, be prepared to endlessly stop and soak up the scenes as they unfold before you. The road valley narrows into a canyon […]

Khardung La Pass

At an elevation of 18,379 ft, the Khardung La is the world’s highest motorable road and serves as gateway to the Nubra Valley. Khardung La (in Tibetan, La means pass) starts about 40km from Leh. The pass offers amazing views of the valley and the roads winding up the […]

Leh

“Leh, Ladakh – you must go to Leh, Ladakh !”. I’ve lost count how many times I was told this during my work visits to Pune over the last 10 years. I’d never heard of the place, but knowing it was in the foothills of the Himalayas and […]

Karnataka

Srirangapatna

Srirangapatna (also spelled Shrirangapattana; anglicized to Seringapatam during the British Raj) is a town in Mandya district of the Indian state of Karnataka. This is an island citadel on the Kaveri River beside the Bangalore road, just 15km northeast of Mysore. The name of the island is derived […]

Best Location for a Stunning Hampi Sunset

Long before I visited Hampi I knew it was potentially a great location to photograph sunset. You only have to google “hampi sunset photos” to see what I mean. But in many of the photos I poured over online, the sense of drama just wasn’t there – everything seemed too […]

Badami Town

Having done the obligatory tour of the monuments of Badami, I decided to break away from all of that and immerse myself into the daily life of the small town. So off I headed into the back streets of Badami, armed with my camera (of course) and a […]

Kerala

Kerala Backwaters – the good, the bad, and the ugly

The Kerala Backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways. The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both man made and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of Kerala state

Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park is the oldest national park in the state of Kerala, created in 1934 by the Travancore government. This vast reserve of some 780 sq km varies in altitude from 900m to 1800m, and likewise the terrain varies considerably from open grasslands to dense tropical forest.

Kathakali Dance

During my short stay in Kochi I was fortunate enough to attend a Kathakali dance performance. The venue for this was the Kerala Kathakali Centre. Founded in 1990, the center’s aim is to popularize and encourage the classical arts of Kerala, discover new talent, and improve the standards […]

Madhya Pradesh

Lakshmibai – Rani of Jhansi, Rebel Leader, and Warrior Queen

My last couple of trips to India have taken me to a couple of locations famously attached to the life of Rani Lakshmibai. These are the locations that served as bookends to her life; her birthplace in Varanasi, and the presumed site of her burial in Gwalior. I […]

Gurdwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib – Gwalior

Dominating the landscape on top of Gwalior hill, Gurdwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib is a Sikh monument associated with the imprisonment and subsequent release of Guru Hargobind Sahib. Guru Hargobind was born on 19th June 1595 near Amritsar and became Guru at the young age of eleven after […]

Datia – Karan Sagar Chhatris

The chhatris are located just 10 minutes drive north-east from the center of Datia, by the shores of Karan Sagar lake. Here the royal families of Datia built wonderfully decorated cenotaphs to commemorate their dead.

Khajuraho – Chhatri of Raja Pratap Singh

Located directly opposite the western group of temples behind a row of shops and restaurants is quite an impressive chhatri. You can just catch a glimpse of its upper levels from the road, but one could be forgiven for missing it if you have spent a day looking around the magnificent temples of the World Heritage Site just a few meters away.

The Chhatris of Orchha

In total there are 15 chhatris of Bundela kings and their families, located on the banks of the river Betwa just 800m south of the Chaturbhuj Temple in the center of the village. My first visit to the chhatris was at sunrise to catch the golden light cast on these monuments from Kanchana Ghat, on the banks of the river Betwa.

Maharashtra

Vishrambaug Wada – Bajirao II’s Preferred Residence in Pune

Located at the busy junction of Bajirao Road and RB Kumthekar Road in Pune, Vishrambaug Wada was the very first heritage building I visited in the city many years ago. I have always made a point of revisiting the Wada on each of my return visits to Pune, it’s […]

Return to the Zero Stone – Pune

Those of you who have been following my blog for a number of years will be familiar with my interest in the plight of what is quite possibly the smallest monument to be seen in Pune, the Zero Stone located right outside the GPO compound wall. Installed by […]

Bhigwan

Located on the Pune-Solapur Highway 120 km from Pune, Bhigwan is best known for its wildlife around the backwaters of Ujjani Dam. This is the wintering home for a long list of migratory birds, including Greater Flamingo, Bar Headed Goose, Eurasian Spoonbill, Collared Pratincole and the Osprey. It also has a good population of Peregrine falcon, the fastest bird of the animal kingdom.

Illuminated Mumbai

Prior to my long overdue visit to Mumbai I did quite a bit of research on locations for photography in the city, and discovered that just a stones throw from my hotel a couple of the colonial buildings are lit up at night. So off I set one evening armed with my tripod to check them out…

Pashan Lake – Pune

Although I would consider Pune a relatively green city compared to many urbanised areas of the country, I still find myself occasionally longing for a little more greenery, but somewhere close so it’s only an Auto ride away. About five years ago I got to hear of Pashan […]

The Zero Stone – Pune

Located outside the General Post Office on Sadhu Vaswani Mission Road in Pune, the Zero Stone is probably one of the city’s smallest and least noticed monuments.

Naneghat

Naneghat is an ancient mountain pass in the Western Ghats range near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra. During the reign of the Satavahana (200 BCE–190 CE), the pass was extensively used as a trade route between Kalyan (Konkan coast) and the Junnar region.

Mahabaleshwar Viewpoints

Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located in the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharastra. With one of the few evergreen forests of India, it served as the summer capital of the Bombay province during the British Raj, and now is a popular holiday destination especially during the monsoon season.

Pune Old City Heritage Walk

Having visited Pune over fifteen times, I’ve often wanted to go on one of the guided heritage walks around the old city. For some reason it just never seemed to happen, until six months ago when I finally got the chance. The walk started at (for me) the […]

Odisha

Raghurajpur Artist Village

Located 15 km north of Puri in Odisha, Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village, the first to be established in the State in the year 2000. The village is best known for its master Pattachitra painters, who apply intricate cloth-based scroll paintings of mythological narratives and folktales. This […]

Rajasthan

Jodhpur Street Photography

Below are some shots taken during my time roaming about the city of Jodhpur. They are essentially left over shots having already done ten blog posts on locations and events in the city.

For more shots of Jodhpur, here’s the individual postings I’ve made on the city :

Mehrangarh Fort – The Interior
Mehrangarh Fort – The Exterior
Mandore Gardens
Ghantaghar Clock Tower
Toorji Ka Jhalra
Mahila Bagh Ka Jhalra
Jaswant Thada
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
Holi – Day 1 – Holika Dahan
Holi – Day 2 – Rangwali Holi

Click on an image to view it in larger format.

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park on the outskirts of Jodhpur was created in 2006 to try and restore the natural ecology of a large, rocky wasteland next to Mehrangarh Fort. Previous to 2006, the wide expanse of land had been neglected and overrun by baavlia (Prosopis juliflora), which […]

How to protect your camera for Holi

If you’re planning to be in India for Holi then you’re probably quite keen to ensure you protect your camera and yourself during the big day itself.

Holi – Day 2 – Rangwali Holi

If yesterday (Holi Day 1 – Holika Dahan) was one of my more memorable days in India, I knew that today was going to take things to a completely new level…

Holi – Day 1 – Holika Dahan

It’s staggering to think that my previous 18 visits to India had never coincided with the Holi festival. So this year I decided that had to be put right, and if I was going to experience Holi, it had to be to be at a place where they really don’t hold back !

Patwon Ki Haveli

Located just 400m to the north of Jaisalmer fort and palace, Patwon Ki Haveli is a complex of five separate havelis owned by five brothers, and was the first haveli to be constructed in Jaisalmer. This remarkable piece of architecture was commissioned by Guman Chand Patwa in 1806, a […]

Bada Bagh

Bada Bagh (also known as Bara Bagh or Barabagh) is a garden complex 6km north of Jaisalmer. If you’ve already visited Jaisalmer Fort and Palace you may have spotted this place from one of the viewpoints overlooking the city and Thar desert beyond.

Gadisar Lake

Originally a conservation lake to collect rain water, Gadisar Lake (also called Gadsisar Lake) was built in 1367 by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to meet the water requirements of Jaisalmer.

Mandore Gardens

Mandore is best known for the chattris memorialising the rulers of Marwar up until the late 1890s, but until the mid 15th century it was also the capital of Marwar.

Ghantaghar Clock Tower

Built by Maharaja Sardar Singh (1880-1911) from whom the market takes it name, the clock tower is in the very heart of Sardar Market, slap bang in the centre of the city.

Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada

Built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II (the 33rd ruler of Jodhpur), Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph situated right by the approach road to Mehrangarh Fort

Ghanerao

Ghanerao is just 19km north of Ranakpur, and makes for a useful place to stop if you end up arriving at the Ranakpur Jain Temple before it opens at noon. Just keep heading north and Ghanerao is the next place you come to. I had 90 minutes to spare, […]

Jaipur Street Photography

This will be a blog post with even less verbiage than normal 🙂  Below are some random shots I took whilst exploring the streets of Jaipur on foot. By far the most interesting place to do this is directly opposite the Hawa Mahal in the early morning, before […]

Gangaur Ghat – Udaipur

Gangaur Ghat is located at the heart of the city of Udaipur and is very easy to find. Upon leaving the City Palace via the north gate, walk down until you reach the flight of stairs on your left for Jagdish Temple. At the road junction, turn left and […]

Udaipur Street Photography

Below are some shots taken during my time roaming the old city of Udaipur. They don’t fit into any of the other categories really, but I think they give a flavour of what the city is like, which  is my favourite city I’ve visited thus far in India. […]

Gaitore

Gaitore is a royal cremation ground for the Kachhwaha Rajput kings and the members of the royal family. It’s located right on the edge of the city towards Amer Fort, so can be dropped into your itinerary at any point really. I arrived quite late in the day […]

Mandawa

This is a longer excursion from Jaipur than Abhaneri, the 168km journey will take you at least 3 hours. Whilst it can be easily achieved with an early start from Jaipur, I would recommend an overnight stay so you have plenty of time to wander around the streets […]

Jantar Mahal

The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments (or observatory), built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh. In total he constructed five such collections of instruments across India, the Jantar Mantar is the best preserved. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric structures for measuring time, […]

Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram Beach

Mahabalipuram is of course most famous for the Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Central Monuments and Tiger Cave – all built during the period of the Pallava Kings. But the town does have a lot more to offer, most notably Mahabalipuram Beach.

Mudumalai National Park

The Mudumalai National Park lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains) about 150 km north-west of Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu. Sharing its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala, the sanctuary is divided into five ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.

Madurai – The friendliest city in India ?

What’s clear to anyone visiting Madurai is just how proud the people are of their city and heritage, and simply how friendly everyone is. I don’t think I’ve been to a more friendly city anywhere in India.

The Toda Tribe

Whilst planning my trip to South India in 2016 I spent a good many hours scouring what information Google maps can provide, in particular looking out for interesting places within walking distance of where I plan to stay; something I can squeeze into my itinerary in the early […]

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal is the oldest water bird sanctuary in the country, established in 1858 by the order of the Collector of Chengalpattu who identified the ornithological importance of the region which attracts a variety of birds primarily due to the small lakes that act as feeding grounds for the birds

Uttar Pradesh

The 85 Ghats of Banaras

Indian Heritage Podcast The ghats on the great Ganga riverfront at Banaras are unquestionably the city’s most iconic and celebrated image. For thousands of years these ghats have been the centre for religion, culture and commerce, offering an unrivaled panorama for visitors to the city. During my ten […]

Manikarnika Ghat – Breaking the Cycle of Death and Rebirth

Often referred to as the ‘the burning ghat’, Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation ground of Banaras and is quite unlike anywhere else in India. At any one time there may be up to a dozen pyres burning here, with a seemingly constant stream of newly arrived corpes […]

Rajghat – The Origins Of Kashi

Right up at the very northern end of present day Varanasi (Baranas) is Malviya Bridge, spanning the Ganga where for over three thousand years boats have ferried people and goods across this great river. This vital river crossing formed part of the ancient Northern Road, connecting the far […]

The Art of Ganga Aarti

Long before I travelled to Varanasi I knew that one of the things I absolutely had to do was witness the daily Aarti ceremony that takes place on the banks of the holy Ganga river at sunset. With my accommodation being so close to the ghats, my wish […]

Gurudwara Guru Ka Taal – Agra

Guru Ka Tal is a historical Sikh pilgrimage site located in the Sikandra district of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. It is dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Guru, who was a son of Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru of the Sikh religion. My visit to Gurdwara Data […]