Travel & Adventure

Ladakh - Captivating Landscapes [Part -1]

07
Oct
2011

I had been desiring and dreaming about Ladakh for the last 3 years. I had seen tons of beautiful pictures, had heard many stories and adventures of intrepid travelers, photographers, trekkers, hikers and bikers riding through some of the highest mountain passes and brisking their way past the serene monasteries and landscapes of the region. For people, who don't know much about Ladakh, Ladakh is also known as the "Land of the High Passes" and is a part of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

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Red Fort - Might and Majesty

21
Sep
2011

Red Fort is the most important historical building in Delhi. Know more about the Lal Quila of Delhi, India. Shah Jahan shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad and laid the foundation of Red Fort, or the Lal Quila, on 16th April 1639. It took nine years to build this mighty citadel and it got completed on 16th April 1648.

It is said that about one crore rupees, an astronomical sum in those days, was spent on its construction. Half of this sum was spent to build the exotic palaces within the fort. Built of red sandstone, it is octagonal in shape, with two longer sides on the east and west. The perimeter of its strong ramparts is about 2.41 km. Red Fort rises to a height of 33.5 m on the town side and 18 m along the river.

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Jaipur - Royalty Beckons [Part 1]

11
Mar
2011

If a picture is worth a thousand words, no number of pictures can describe the beauty, history, art, culture, and the people of this magnificent city of Jaipur. Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the Pink City with broad avenues and spacious gardens. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. Here the past comes alive in magnificent forts and palaces blushed with pink, where once lived the Maharajas. If a picture is worth a thousand words, no number of pictures can describe the beauty, history, art, culture, and the people of this magnificent city of Jaipur.

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Udaipur - Definitely, Venice of the East !

03
Jan
2011

Udaipur, formally known as the city of lakes is the capital of the former princely state of Mewar Rajasthan, India. Udaipur is also referred to as the "Venice of the East", the "Most Romantic City of India" and the "Kashmir of Rajasthan". The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis.

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When it doesn't come easy !!

28
Nov
2010

I have been traveling around North India for the past 3 weeks, It's been rough, adventurous, gutsy, fun, economical and very photogenic. As per my travel itinerary, I came to Udaipur (Rajasthan), known as the "City of Lakes" or "Venice of the East, also where some of the bloodiest battles has been fought, it was a place of contradictions. At once arriving here, I learnt about another nearby town called Nathdwara. "Nathdwara enshrines Shrinathji - A deity of Lord Krishna which was originally enshrined at Govardhana Hill in Vrindavan.

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Pushkar - Cultural Extravaganza

22
Nov
2010

Pushkar is one of the oldest cities of India. Pushkar lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake.The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. It is mentioned that Brahma performed penance here for 60,000 years to have a glimpse of Vishnu.The town frequently visited by the devotees lies to the side of the small Pushkar Lake with its multitudes of bathing ghats and temples. Pushkar is a very important pilgrimage centre for the Hindus and is thronged by plethora of sadhus and devotees.

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Sorry Folks - Can't Reveal

26
Oct
2010

Everyday is a busy day, all months are hectic and just when I was feeling the heat of September workload, I get an e-mail from my buddy from Mexico who wants me to go checkout some island.I am like %^#*)! Are you serious ??On one hand, I am like wow !! Islands, turquoise waters, a new destination. On the other side, tons of tasks to leave behind.But hey !! TAKE IT WHEN IT COMES.

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Somanathpur - Architectural Wonder

26
Apr
2010

Somnathpur, a tiny village on the banks of the Kaveri, 140 kms, south-west of Bangalore."There is a stillness and everlastingness about the past, it changes not and has a touch of eternity," wrote Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in his "Discovery of India.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 11-15 . 13/03/10 - 18/03/10 - Adios !!

22
Apr
2010

We were all awake by 4:00AM and were pretty excited to be leaving the islands. As promised, John sent a pickup truck which took us to the harbor. We could see a big ship, The Swaraj Deep, anchored there. After an hour or so, we were taken on a speed boat to the ship but it was a total circus trying to get up the gangplank to board the ship. We had bought first class cabin tickets and we were anxious to go and relax. After getting on board, we found our cabins and got settled in.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 10 - 12/03/10 - After a storm comes calm...

19
Apr
2010

This was the day we were waiting for. Just before we went sleep the night before we learned that again one of the engines had broken down. That had certainly given us something to worry about.This was the day we were waiting for. By now we had really lost our patience and energy to tolerate the intense heat, sand flea and mosquito bites, dehydration, and hunger. It wasn't just because of just 2-3 days camping – the whole journey to this far off island and especially to this part of the island had been tough for us. Just before we went sleep the night before we learned that again one of the engines had broken down. That had certainly given us something to worry about.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 9 - 11/3/10 - Jaws !!

17
Apr
2010

Waking up early in the morning, I was very surprised to discover how well I had slept that night.I may have woken up couple of times but given the conditions (the heat, bites, cramped conditions in the tent and hard ground) it wasn't too bad at all. Kunja and Kirtan got up early also and walked across the bay to see how the surf was on the other side.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 8 - 10/3/10 - We do not seek, we find !

16
Apr
2010

The next morning we were up and ready by 4.45AM waiting to be picked up by one of John's drivers…we ended up waiting until almost 6:00. When we arrived at the small harbor and were taken to the boat which was to take us to Indira Point, we were a bit shocked to see the boat which we were to sail in. It was simply an open boat with no shelter or cabin and was at least 10-15 years old. It was powered by two small generators. I was expecting to see a Yamaha or some other brand-name motor. It turns out that all the boats here run on these small generators because they are easy to maintain on an island where any local mechanic can fix them. A Yamaha engine would be useless here since there is no service center on the Island.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 7 - 9/3/10 - Beaten but not broken !

14
Apr
2010

Undaunted by our last attempt at surfing at Break Water, we were off again to try it out at 5:30AM. That morning there was low tide and as we approached the break, we were again totally bummed to see nothing happening. Here and there some swell was coming but nothing more than 2 ft. We waited for sometime to see if it would get any better but it was useless. We didn't even bother getting in the water and we left the place after 40 minutes. We now had to make some serious plans about how we would navigate the south part of the island.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 6 - 8/3/10 - Bureaucracy at it's best.

13
Apr
2010

Waking up early the next morning, we all had a craving to go and surf Break Water which we had found the day before. Kunja and Kirtan took their boards out for the first time and I prepared my camera gear for the shoot.It was little bit of a hassle to find a rickshaw at 6:00AM but after a short stroll we managed to find one and headed out to the break. When we arrived our enthusiasm was suddenly stopped dead in it's tracks by a guard at the gate who told us that we needed a permit to enter. The day before we came through the same gate when we had checked out the beaches – but today we needed a permit!!!, We returned to the guesthouse totally bummed out – it had been almost a week and we hadn't even entered the water yet…

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 5 - 7/3/10 - Beauty and the Beast.

13
Apr
2010

We slept so well that night that we woke up we feeling fresh and ready to go. A good nights sleep had escaped us for some time – whatever rest we had on the boat was always plagued by the heat and the muggy, claustrophobic stench of the cabin. Our plan was to start hunting for surf spots right from the word go and we started for a nearby beach close to where we stayed. We expected this beach to be pristine with white sand and crystal clear blue waters. But again, the beach had been wrecked by the monstrous tsunami that had left so many huge tree trunks lying everywhere. Wherever we looked, dead dry trees stood erect as silent reminders of that huge Tsunami. We continued to walk along the beach taking pictures, shooting videos and of course hoping to find surf breaks.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 4 - 6/3/10 - The first surfers to arrive...

11
Apr
2010

As promised, we reached the Nancowrie Islands around 5.30AM. We were hoping that the boat would not dock there for too long as it would delay our arrival at Campbell Bay. Luckily, we only docked for a couple of hours and our boat soon started for Campbell Bay. However, during the time that we spent at Nancowrie Islands we heard and were able to see the brutality of the Tsunami that had hit these part of the islands. The impact was such that it had had split the island into three parts. It had uprooted 80 foot tall trees, had wiped out the coral system and had caused untold distress to people and their properties. It left me thinking how this part of the world was so beautiful but simultaneously it was so vulnerable to all kinds of natural disasters.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 3 - 5/3/10 - We are still sailing !

11
Apr
2010

We were woken at 5AM by the suns rays pouring through the small cabin window. We immediately went on deck to shoot some video footage and take some photos. As we stepped out of our cabin we saw the ships first port of call – a group of islands called Car Nicobar. It looked like every other island in the Andaman with crystal clear water and plenty of thick vegetation.

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Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 2 - 4/3/10 - On board finally

10
Apr
2010
All geared to hunt waves.At 6.30am we were abruptly woken up when the phone rang. Kunja had just arrived in Port Blair (he was joining us a day later since there was a mix up in booking our tickets). The rest of the morning was a blur as we rushed around shopping, bolting down a modest breakfast and trying (without any luck) to activate the internet on our phones.Read more ...

Surfing the Unknown [An India Surf Travelogue] Day 1 - 3/3/10 - Heading out (on mission)

09
Apr
2010

Our day started at 7 AM when myself and Kirtan took a small ATR plane from Bangalore to Chennai. We had already journeyed from Mysore to Bangalore the night before and hadn't slept much, but we were too excited to notice. We were all in good spirits since things were going according to plan, the adventure was about to begin… 5600 kilometers, 15 days, 2 surfers, 1 photographer, 110 kilos of gear, and high expectations — destination, Great Nicobar Island north of Sumatra.

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Our Surf Trip !!

02
Mar
2010

Oh finally !! that's what I said, when I woke up this morning, because today we are leaving on our month long surf adventure trip to some far off islands, which is geographically more Indo than India.We have been looking into these islands for more than a year now, and every time we researched these islands, we came to understand it's potential for being the undiscovered, unsurfed remote islands on the planet, waiting for us to go and unveil it to the surfing world.

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Shanghai - Part 1

30
Dec
2009

Shanghai was one kind of a life time experience, I never thought it would be one of the cities I would end up so soon in my life. Generally, people want to experience cities such as New York, London, LA, Paris. But, Shanghai ?The moment I arrived, I was totally in awe of the city's magnitude and how once a sleepy city just a decade ago is now one of the biggest cities in the world, with a population of 25 million at least.

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