Sunday, December 21, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Shot - Caesar Weed Flower

Caesar Weed Flower

Caesar Weed Flower grows in abundance on the roadsides just after the monsoons in the villages of Goa. These beautiful pink flowers of the weed naturally attract the attention of the passers by. The weed's botanical name is Urena lobata, also called Congo jute and in Hindi Bachita, Unga and Lapetua. 


The flowers grow singly in the axil of the leaf, have five petals that are usually pink. The fibre of the weed reportedly has many uses like the jute fibre. The flower is about 3 cm is diameter and you can partly see an insect inside it.

Freshly bloomed flower with lush green fields for background, with the added spider net on the weed drew my attention to photograph them.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, December 19, 2014

Utopia Dystopia Goa Week II


Last week we conceptualized the tree, we brainstormed, we drew our ideas on paper and we thought through how we want our areas to look. This week we had to dirty our hands literally. We had to give shape to our ideas. I would remember this week as patience building time. Working with new mediums required a lot of patience – as you have to allow time for things to take shape, have to work patiently on the details and then hope & pray that your hard work does not go waste.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Glory of Gaikwads – Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara


Laxmi Vilas Palace is the first thing that you are told to see when you visit Vadodara. We saw its precints many times while driving across the city. Its imposing arched gates stand next to a busy road. The palace compound is so huge that you have to access different sites like the Fatesh Singh Museum and the Laxmi Vilas Palace through different gates. To give you an idea, it houses a well-maintained golf course and a cricket ground besides sprawling lawns where one can see hoards of peacocks roaming around and tons of birds chirping on the trees.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Shot - Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher
Perched atop an under construction site iron rod, this common Kingfisher was trying to spot the fish in a stagnant water body created by rainwater. Kingfisher can spot its food i.e. fish in still water and can dive into water to shallow depth only.

Saw this one capture a tiny fish and fly back to relish the catch.

Common Kingfisher can be commonly seen around most of India and is easily identifiable due to its distinct blue color and size.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, December 12, 2014

Utopia Dystopia in Goa, Week 1


Goa University is very generous – it opens up its visiting faculty programs to general public and that too absolutely free of cost. Attending some of these programs have been my best blessing in Goa. This December, I signed up for a program that was curiously called ‘Utopia Dystopia Goa’ and involved working with the renowned artist Orijit Sen to create a public installation using various materials – right from terracotta to waste material. Sounds interesting - but beyond that I had no clue and no experience whatsoever of working with artists – forget about being one myself. It was a challenge and needed a commitment of 3 weeks of time, but I decided to go ahead and get involved. Only thing I was sure of was some learning everyday because when you start from Zero, you can only add to it. And around the middle of the project I can say that I am damn happy that I joined it and here is sharing my first week learnings with you.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Satara – City of Seven Stars


Seven hills defining the boundaries of this small town in Maharashtra give it its name – Satara. Metaphorically, it was also the capital city of Marathas for a long time making it a star among the cities of the state. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday Shot - Fishing Boat

Fishing Boat in the seas
Fishing boat, sailing in the Arabian Sea in the evening as the sun goes down is an enchanting sight. Do not miss the backdrop of stationed ships at the golden sunset hours of photography.

Seascape shot captured at Caranzalem beach in Goa with the silhouette of fishing boat dramatically changing the perspective of the scene. You can see young boatmen cum fishermen fishing for their evening meals at this non-touristy beach next to our home in Goa. 

Some every day joys of living in this Sunshine state.


Friday, December 05, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, December 05, 2014

Review: Denwa Backwater Escape, Satpura National Park


Located right at the banks of backwaters of Denwa river, formed by the dam water is this beautiful luxury lodge that allows you to spend some time at the edge of the forest.  We were invited by Pugdundee Safaris to visit the Satpura National Park and cannot thank them enough for giving us an opportunity to be in the vicinity of the national park and see so many birds and animals in their natural habitat – including the sighting of sloth bears at night.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Ahmedabad Heritage Walk

Swaminarayan Temple at Kalupur 
Like Delhi and Hyderabad, Ahmedabad also has an old city at its core that still remains to an extent in a time warp. Visiting these old cores takes you back in time when these cities were born and from where their character emerged. These areas have a distinct identity that they exude. In Ahmedabad it is the Pols of the old city that give the city its unique character – that of communities living independently and yet intertwined with others. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation conducts a heritage walk every day in the old parts of the city and since they have been doing it for many years now – they are the best at it. I had taken this walk about 10 years back and repeated it again this year and thoroughly enjoyed it both times.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Shot - Oriental Forget-me-not Butterfly

Oriental Forget-me-not Butterfly
At first thought this beautiful purple-blue-silver colored one looked like an insect. Some google search indicates it to be a butterfly called Oriental Forget-me-not (Catochrysops strabo strabo). Look carefully and you would see hues of many colors swiftly navigating from one color to another.

And the hind leg like looking structures emanating from the hind wings appear to be some defence parts/mechanism.


What a wonderful creation of nature!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, November 28, 2014

Go Goa XX - Evenings at Colva Beach

Colva beach, Goa 

Colva beach is one of the most popular beach of south Goa. It is located few kilometers south of Dabolim Airport and close to the commercial hub of Goa - Madgaon, that travelers know better as the railhead in Goa.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

5 Ways to Explore Forests of Satpura


Poet Bhawani Prasad Mishra described the Satpura forests as dense but sleepy. I think I agree with him, the forests are sleepy – full of vines and spiders but today may be there are not as many tigers as he saw. Earlier this month, we were invited by Pugdundee Safaris to stay at their lovely Denwa Backwater Escape resort on the banks of Denwa River, across which lies the Satpura National Park. For 3 days we shuttled between the resort and the forest, crossing the backwaters of Denwa and explored it in various – each with a uniqueness of its own. So let me share this Safari Menu that we savoured at Satpura.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Shot: Indian Roller in-flight

Indian Roller in-flight

Indian Roller is one of the most colorful birds of India, and its colors are at the best when in-flight. Its Scientific Name is Coracias benghalensis and in India it is known as Neelkanth for the predominant blue color it carries. Found across the plains in India it is the state bird of Andhra PradeshTelanganaKarnataka and Odisha.

This photograph was taken at the outskirts of beautiful Satpura national park, on a birding trail with Pugdundeesafaris Denwa Backwaters Escape Resort. 

Satpura National Park is in Madhya Pradesh, India. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of several birds on these birding trails here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, November 21, 2014

Hua Hin – An elitist beach town


Hua Hin is located bang opposite the famous Pattaya beach, that is, if you could swim across the Gulf of Thailand in a straight line. In character too, the two towns stand on the opposite ends – while Pattaya is a hub for mass tourism, Hua Hin is where the nobility of Thailand lived in earlier times and today it’s being promoted by as a premium wedding and honeymoon destination. We were told that the King and Queen of Thailand also live in Hua Hin and not in Bangkok making it a living royal city.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, November 20, 2014

American Express & MakeMyTrip Launch a Co-branded Credit Card


Pic Courtesy American Express

American Express in partnership with MakeMyTrip - India’s leading online travel portal has launched a new credit card that offers many benefits for the users of the portal ensuring many benefits and rewards for those who travel frequently and do all their travel booking through MakeMyTrip portal. Some highlights include include:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Colorful furniture of Sankheda



Sankheda is a small village located about 45 kms South-East of Vadodara. This is a usual Gujarati / Indian village but for the fact that many families here produce a certain type of wooden furniture that is made only here. Of course it goes by the name Sankheda woodwork – and its distinction lies in the use of lacquer for giving it a shining finish. Well, lacquer is no longer used and has been commonly replaced by the enamel paint that is not only easier to work with but has given the artisans here a larger range of colors and color combinations to work on.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Shot - Indian Jezebel Butterfly

Indian Jezebel Butterfly 

Indian Jezebel Butterfly also known as common Jezebel, scientific name Delias eucharis, sucking the juice of wildly growing Lantana Flower. It is one of the most common butterflies seen in India. Red, Yellow, Black and White colors form beautiful and distinctive patterns on the wings of the butterfly.

Lantana flowers are well known to attract wide varieties of butterflies. If you want to have your own private butterfly garden, let the Lantana plants grow around you and butterflies will soon follow. You do not need to do much to grow Lantana - it is a wild flowers and pretty much fends for itself.

Captured at Caranzalem, Goa.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: Baker's Studio, Baga, Goa


Couple of weeks back, some of us Goa bloggers were invited by Baker's studio for lunch. They are located in the famous Tito's Lane in Baga amidst an area that belongs to the resident tourists of Goa. Most of us who live in Goa hardly visit this area, so it was a nice change to visit this area and feel the city as tourists see it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rendezvous with Indus Valley Civilization at Lothal



Once upon a time life in Indian subcontinent flourished on the banks of River Saraswati. Ancient urban centers with well-planned cities are still being discovered in and around Saraswati and its tributaries for more than a century now. Every site adds to the mystique and scale of the civilization. At the southern end of this civilization in gulf of Khambat, in the village called Lothal lies a dockyard that was used to trade through the sea routes with other civilizations.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, November 09, 2014

Sunday Shot - Cattle Egret in-flight

Cattle Egret in-flight
Cattle Egret can be spotted in the paddy fields, water bodies and true to their names- near the cattle, specially the buffaloes very commonly across India. 

In-flight they look pretty with their pristine white bird wings flapping in a rhythm as their yellow beak points towards the direction of flight, sailing across short distances. 

This one was captured over the paddy fields of Taleigao, Goa

Friday, November 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, November 07, 2014

Review: Divan’s Bungalow Ahmedabad


Whenever I plan the trip, there is an attempt to see if I can stay in the older parts of the city – as I have always lived in new areas of most cities I lived in. There is also a desire to live like the locals and that is why I champion the cause of couchsurfing so much. Lately I have seen the concept of home stays where you stay with a local family. And then there is Neemrana that offers you an experience of being an elite in the destination that you are visiting.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Pavagadh Hill, Gujarat



Champaner & Pavagardh are the words – I always heard together. It was one of the few UNESCO world heritage sites of India that I had not visited, so I planned my Gujarat trip to cover this and the newly included Rani ki Vav. It is only when I reached the site, some 45 kms from Vadodara, I realized that Champaner is the village below the Pavagadh hill. The monuments are of course scattered all over the hill, on the foothill and on top of the hill. You can hear and read as many myths, legends and stories about this place as the number of sources you access.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, November 02, 2014

Sunday Shot: Indian Pond Heron


Indian Pond Heron in-flight
One of the most common birds of India, the Pond Heron can be spotted just around any water body or even fields.

This bird was flying across the man made pathway amidst the fields at Taleigaon in Goa, not too far from our home here.

Pointed beak, sharp yellow eyes and the flapping feathers make it lovely to watch them fly.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, October 31, 2014

Go Goa XXIII Naval Aviation Museum, Goa



Tucked away in a corner, near Bogmalo beach at Vasco, is this unique museum dedicated to flying machines of the naval forces. I am not an army / military / war person. I often skip the armory galleries in museums, but this one promised to be more of a display of technology and more importantly an introduction to a subject I knew nothing about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sun Temple Modhera or मोधेरा का सुर्य मंदिर


कर्क रेखा पे
अपने ईष्ट देव की और
मुहँ बाये कमल पट्ट पे खड़ा 
मोधेरा का सुर्य मंदिर

पुष्कारणी में माला से
गूँथे हैं छोटे बड़े मंदिर
जिनकी छवि से हैं खेलते
जल जन्तु कच्छ और मच्छ

सभा मंडप है समेटे
कथाएँ राम और कृष्ण की
जन्म से मृत्यु की यात्रा
मधी है बाहिरी वर्ग पे

कोख रहित गर्भ गृह
कथा कहता प्रहारों की
जो खंडित तो कर गये, पर
क्षीण ना कर पाए तेज को

आठों दिशाओं में
दिशा देवो का वास है
शिलाओं में समाया
संगीत नृत्य उल्हास है

पुष्पावती है जिसे सहलाती
अपनी जल धार से
सूर्य जैसे हो प्रहरी
अपने इस प्रतिबिंब का 

A Rough translation....

On the Tropic of Cancer
Looking towards its deity
On the inverted lotus
Stands the Sun Temple of Modhera

In the Stepwell, stung like pearl string
are big and small 108 temples
With whose shadow 
play the fish and turtle

Assembly hall treasures 
stories of Rama & Krishna
Journey from birth to death
is carved on outer periphery

Womb-less sanctum tells
story of the invasions
that left it in ruins, but
could not diminish its aura

In the eight directions sit
guardian deities of each direction
each stone celebrates life
through music and dance

Pushpavati nurtures it
with its waters
The sun looks over it
its own reflection on earth.


PS: After a long time was inspired to express myself in poetry rather than usual prose. Tell me how you liked the change. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Shot: Rose Ringed Parakeet


Rose Ringed Parakeet
Its harvest season in Goa. In the paddy fields of Taleigao near our house, this Rose Ringed Parakeet picks up a strand of the crop from the fields as if saying - this is my share of the booty.

One of the pleasures of living in between the sea and the fields. You can see bunch of these fellows in your backyard.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, October 24, 2014

Sahastralinga Talav, Patan, Gujarat



Just behind the gorgeous Rani ki Vav lies the Sahastralinga Talav – a structure if intact would have been equally if not more gorgeous. It pre-dates the Rani ki Vava and was another water management structure on the banks of river Saraswati and drew water from one of its canals and not only stored it but also did the water filtering / cleaning process.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Andhra Avdentures XVII : Yadgirigutta – Abode of Narsimha Swamy


On the outskirts of Hyderabad lie many small gems to be explored.  Yadgirigutta is one of them and I visited it almost towards the end of my stay in Hyderabad along with Kolanpak and Bhongir.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, October 17, 2014

Legacy of A Queen - Rani Ki Vav


Top View of Rani ki Vav
Rani ki Vav – an ornate step well that a queen had built in the memory of her husband, is the 2014 UNESCO world heritage site entry from India. There are many step wells in this area, one right behind this big step well, but all of them put together cannot match the grandeur of Rani Ki Vav. It is not only magnificent in terms of size but also the decorations that make it as much a work of art as a place of utility value. Whole structure is below the ground level, so when we were approaching it after buying the tickets, what we could see was green manicured lawns with pathways leading to a kind of hole in the ground.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, October 13, 2014

Popular Gujarat – First Impressions

Sun Temple, Modhera


I have been to Ahmedabad a few times in last 15 years or so, mostly on business trips, but never beyond it in the state of Gujarat. The colorful visuals and the stories of the state always enchanted me. This time when I had the time to plan a trip to Gujarat, I chose to do the popular Gujarat with circuits around Ahmedabad and Vadodara – the two big cities in the state. I spent a week travelling around these two cities, soaking in the Gujarati landscape and its culture, trying to understand its entrepreneurial spirit and the business minded people. 


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Malaysia Marvels XV: KL Bird Park



Located in the heart of the city, Kuala Lumpur’s bird park takes you amidst the nature as soon as you buy the ticket to it. A sprawling campus divided into zones, some of which let the birds fly free while others that restrict them to certain areas, needs quite some time if you are a bird watcher. Even if you are not, the walk in aviary will put you in awe, as you may have never been so close to some of the flying beauties.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ramayana Paintings from Royal Palace, Bangkok


King of Thailand is called Rama - so its not surprising that the walls of the Royal Palace have murals depicting the story of Ramayana.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Devaaya Ayurveda & Nature Cure Centre, Goa


"This is my 4th stay at Devaaya and love coming here every year. Earlier I used to come for 2 weeks, now I come for 3 weeks. This is like staying in one quite corner of the world that lets me spend time with myself, while I tend to my body, mind and soul." Says a middle-aged woman who lives in Nottingham, United Kingdom as we chat over lunch overlooking the swimming pool and Mandovi backwaters. We are at the Devaaya Ayurveda & Nature Cure Centre at Divar Island in Goa.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, September 28, 2014

Go Goa XXI– Bigfoot Museum, Loutlim


This museum is an attempt to re-create the Goan village seen as it used to be. There are various household, religious places, marketplaces and occupations depicted spread over a hill. Let me walk you through some of the key attractions of this museum.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, September 26, 2014

10 Years of Blogging



Today, I complete 10 years of blogging. What a journey it has been! 

Pausing at this milestone to look back and look ahead, sharing some of my thoughts.

World is divided in three parts – one I have lived in and I know intimately, the one I have visited and is like a friend and the one I am yet to visit and is still a mystery no matter how much I read or heard about it. When someone says the name of the place – my mind visualizes the map of the place in two colors – visited and not visited before the conversation begins.

Travel = Trust - When I reflect on what travel does to people, based on my travels and based on numerous couchsurfers that I hosted at my home, I realize the biggest ROI of travel is Trust. Travel establishes trust among strangers. It brings humanity together by establishing understanding about each other. When you visit someone you come back with a bond and it is nearly impossible to hate people you know. Take a minute and think about all the places you have visited and compare them to the perception of places you are yet to visit. I owe the pleasures of my travel to the people who guarded me when I needed security, who told their life stories to me, who shared a laugh and sometimes food with me - always building a bond of trust. 

We are more similar than we think - Differences across geographies and cultures exist on the surface – the way we look, the way we dress, what we eat and what language we speak. Scratch the surface and we all go through the same rigmarole of life – our emotional journeys are not very different. Sources of frustrations can be different, but our joys come from more or less the same sources.

Discovering Art, History and Art History - I was a typical science and technology student and do not remember anything else that I studied throughout my student days. It is my travels that introduced me to the world of art, history and art history. It started with observation that led to curiosity that took me to reading about the art and history. In time, I took small courses in art history and now I am an eternal student of ancient Indian Art history. I do not think I am capable enough to write about it yet, but whenever I have attempted a post or two on Indian Arts, the response has been amazing and I hope to do it more often. 

Living a dream - Blogging connected me to so many diverse worlds both in real and virtual world. I meet people who are unlike me from various walks of life. I receive e-mails from all corners of the world – appreciating, admiring, connecting and most of all telling me that I have managed to touch people I may never meet. In the offline world, people have acknowledged being aware of my work and more importantly my thoughts. Could I have asked for more? I can only express my gratitude to all those whom I met on the way and e-way. Traveling, reading and writing and living in a place of your choice - is that not living a dream. 

It was totally a road untraveled when I began as blogging itself was a nascent space. 10 years later, I am a part of a thriving tribe called Travel Bloggers. And as the cliché goes – Most exciting time for bloggers are yet to come.

PS: If you have not noticed already – the blog has a new web address – www.IndiTales.com and a new video channel.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, September 22, 2014

Go Goa XX : Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary - A walker's paradise



Located at the southern edge of the Goa, bordering Karnataka, this lesser known wild life sanctuary is a nature walker’s delight.  It cuts you off from the mundane world and surrounds you with sheer greenery amidst flowing water almost everywhere.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand



Wat Pho – the largest Wat or temple in Thailand is home to the wonderful and giant gold plated reclining Buddha statue. I had a very hurried visit to this Wat, which is actually a complex with many things to offer and many interesting structures inviting you. In the absence of leisurely time, I decided to spend time with the Buddha who is getting ready for his Mahaparinirvana in all his glory. You are not allowed with your shoes on inside the chamber of Buddha, but the funny part is you are not even allowed to keep it out, Instead you are provided with shoulder bags in which you must carry the shoes with you. It defies my logic of why shoes should be kept out but as they say ‘do in Rome as the Romans do’, I carried on.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, September 12, 2014

Thoseghar Falls – Satara, Maharashtra



Thoseghar Waterfalls were the best part of our trip to Satara and Kaas.  The roaring falls vie for the attention of both your eyes and ears as you stand on the viewing platform.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, September 07, 2014

Hellfire Pass Memorial – Thailand


The tourist circuit in Western Thailand bordering Myanmar or Burma is centered on the historic Burma – Thailand rail link that was built during Word War II by the Japanese forces. The story is simple – Japan wanted to reach India with its war material and the route via sea was risky and they wanted to reach via a road route. So they decided to build a 400+ kms of rail link and they wanted to build it fast. They started work on rail link at both ends in Southern Burma and in Thailand and the two links met in Oct 1943 at Konkoita in Thailand. Today about 130 kms of this rail link is still operational between Non Pladuk and Namtok. Majority of it was destroyed during the World War II itself when allied forces air raided the area.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Kaas Plateau - A Valley of Flowers


Kaas Plateau is also called the valley of flowers – Maharashtra’s answer to Uttarakhand’s famous valley of flowers. Both the valleys bloom around the same time during late monsoons season in India i.e in the months of August and September.  While the later requires you to trek through the tough Himalayan terrain after reaching the foothills, you can drive right up to the Kaas plateau that lies on one of the many hills of the city of Satara.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review: Baba's Wood Cafe, Panaji


I have been in Goa for good 8 months now but have hardly tried eating out and lot of it has to do with the fact that I am vegetarian and Goa is primarily known for its sea food. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bridge over River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand


There are places that have historic stories in their wraps and its takes a filmmaker to unravel them and present it to the world. I saw this phenomenon in Schindler’s museum in Poland and now in Kanchanaburi province of Thailand. Film Bridge over River Kwai brought the world focus on to this small bridge – a part of a historic rail link built during World War II. Though the film was shot in Sri Lanka, the place got its due with the blockbuster film.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, August 22, 2014

Go Goa XIX: Walking with Birds in Maina, Curtorim


One fine morning while Goa was still waiting for the rains we walked through the narrow streets of quaint Maina village close to better know Raia and Curtorim. It is a typical Goan village with narrow roads passing through the paddy fields. While the fields look like a green carpet on earth, the blue sky provides the contrast and the clouds here and there move around to provide the eternal change. Hills Stand on the horizon as if guarding the fields. Coconut trees loom on here and there. Water forms natural ponds and attracts many birds.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thailand’s New Latitude Wines


East is exotic for various reasons, but wine is not a part of those reasons. So when we were told we are driving out of Hua Hin to do some wine tasting, my curiosity went up by a few notches. The road leading to Hua Hin Hills Vineyard was deserted and passed through many fields, hillocks that eventually gave way to rolling hills forming layers of peaks and valleys.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Go Goa XVIII: Budbudi Tal aka The Bubble Lake, Netravali, Goa


Clap and the lake bubbles, is the famous legend associated with this tiny lake that actually looks like a small temple pond with a structure standing in the middle of it.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, August 07, 2014

Tiger Temple, Kanchanaburi, Thailand



I have never been this up close and personal with tigers, getting within a few centimeters of them. Some of my fellow travelers even patted them and played with them, I did not have the courage, but after a while I was comfortably moving around with many tigers tied to various trees in an open dusty ground. Standing there I realized the difference between reading and hearing about some experiences and actually being a part of them. I was scared and excited at the same time. Some instinct gave me the courage to stand there with ease and click pictures and videos, may be it was the chains around the necks of these big cats or was it the volunteers in shining pink color or the monk who was treating them like children and playing with them. I did go a bit white every time they opened their mouth and showed those long sharp teeth sometimes to yawn and sometimes to make a bit of noise. At the same time, when I saw their movements being restricted by the chains around their neck, it felt sad. I felt an empathy for them with an impulse to open their chains.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Saturday, August 02, 2014

Thailand - Almost First Impressions


I was in Thailand exactly after 15 years. While standing in the Visa on Arrival queue I was flipping through pages of my passport and realized in 1999 I had traveled to Thailand exactly on the same dates 21-27th July – weird co-incidence. That was when I still working in the corporate world for a flamboyant American company that took us around the city and on cruises over a weekend. This time I was on a trip on the Invitation of Tourism Authority of Thailand. Kanchanaburi, Tiger Temple, Bridge of River Kwai, Hua Hin and some classic Bangkok were on the itinerary this time. So here are some near first impressions from the trip:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Go Goa XVII: Pre-historic Rock Art, Pansoimol, Goa


I came to know about these rock art carvings at the Goa State Museum and had put it on my to be visited list, but it was an article in the newspaper with pictures of this rock art that made me get up and drive down to this rock by the river Sharawati and admire them first hand. It is a long drive from Panaji  - good 70+ kms in the southeast direction. We were thankfully staying at Arco Iris and the drive was about 30 kms from there, but since we were searching for this it took us almost an hour to reach the place. Till the village of Rivona and Colomb, we could follow a straight road when a small hand painted board on the right directed us to take a right turn. After this we were on a road that was not kuchha but it was not pucca either. After following some fallen ASI boards we reached a dead end and all we could see was a small rivulet and a thatched hut there. We got down and a man in tomato red T-shirt stepped out wearing a welcome smile almost like the one you expect from a cast away when he gets to see a human being after a long time. He was the ASI guard for the site and we crossed his office cum hut to reach the huge rock, where his own cloths were spread out to dry.

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