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.


The room that houses the reclining Buddha seems to be made to cover the statue and the statue just fits in with a small circumambulatory path around it. You enter the temple from the side of Buddha’s head and his curls sitting nicely on his right arm is the first thing you see. The scale of his head hits you before you stretch your neck to take a look at his elongated body.


As you look closely at his fish shaped eyes made in white mother of pearl lost in a thought, they inspire you to go inside and reflect on the ‘Maya’ that this world is.  I looked at his elongated ears and the three lines on his neck and started looking for  ‘Mahapurush Lakshana’ or the signs on the body that mark the super human beings. I could see his Ushnisha or the protrusion on his head and urna or the small protrusion between his eyebrows. I walked along his body till I reached his giant feet, another of the ‘Mahapurush Lakshanas’. The bottoms of his feet or the soles are again made in mother of pearl and has the relevant iconography of Buddha embedded in them. With too many tourists around, I could not look closely at the feet but now after looking at the close-up of the feet I could see that both feet have similar signs and there is a roundel in the middle of the sole that in my opinion should be a Chakra or the wheel but it looks more like lotus here. Rest of the sole is divided into rectangular parts with a sign in each of them.  I could spot some but missed most. Need a monk or a Buddhologist to guide me through these.


The back of the statue is plain but it gives you the indication of Buddha’s robe that is not very evident from the front. Behind the head Buddha’s head rests on two box-like pillows in blue color with rich glass mosaic work. You can not see the whole statue in one go, as there are pillars in front of it and this reminded me of a similar reclining Buddha image at Ajanta Caves that too is behind a row of pillars thought it can be viewed in totality from the other end of the chaitya.


The walls of this hall and doors have stories from Buddha’s life painted all over. The colors used are dark with ample gold to highlight them. The Buddha can be identified with the Halo behind him while for identifying rest of the characters I needed to spend some more time there. Style of painting seemed somewhere between Thangkha and Ajanta paintings. Pillars and the ceiling are also in intricate patterns that I would associate more with central asian style of painting. The fact that stories adorn the walls and the decorative patterns on ceilings is another resemblance Wat Pho has with Ajanta paintings that also follow the same pattern.


There was a row of bowls kept for the devotees to put coins in. If I am not wrong this is a asking for a wish or saying thank you for a wish fulfilled ritual where you chant a mantra and keep putting a coin in each of these bowls something very similar to turning a rosary. The number usually followed is 108 like in a rosary.


In the complex I could see giant representations of the Garuda as the dwarpala, somewhere indicating that even in Thailand Buddha is seen as the incarnation of Vishnu as Garuda is the vehicle of Vishnu and in typical Buddhist iconography we hardly find its mention. There is a descendent of the Bodhi tree of Bodh Gaya in the complex.


I hope to go back to have a closer look at the complex sometime.

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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review – Arco Iris, Curtorim, Goa


Curtorim is a small village off the main city of Margao in South Goa, almost touching the backwaters of Zuari River. Unlike villages of North Goa, South Goa villages still remain with the native population more or less. So, you see big houses from bygone era in different states of conservation. Some have been well maintained, some constructed afresh and some make you feel you have walked into the 19th CE. As we were driving towards Curtorim, I wondered how it would be have a house restored to experience the erstwhile living and Arco Iris turned out to be the perfect reply – a majestic house in lime yellow color with wide pillared corridor running all around it and a patio to sit and admire the sheer nature in front of it. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Padmanabhapuram Palace, Fort & Town


This huge wooden palace – in fact the biggest wooden structure in Asia is an erstwhile palace of the kings of Travancore who ruled from here between 1552 -1790 CE that includes the rule of its famous king Martand Varma of the dynasty. Today it technically falls in the state of Tamil Nadu and can be seen on the way if you are visiting Kanyakumari from Trivandrum. It is still managed by the Kerala circle of ASI as historically and heritage wise it belongs to Tranvancore state that is now a part of Kerala.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Saturday, July 12, 2014

Go Goa XVI: Reis Magos Fort


If I could swim and cross the Mandovi river, just off my home in Goa, Reis Magos lies on the other bank of it, but it took me good 6 months to drive to this quite fort on the edge of North Goa overlooking Panjim and the commerce on Mandovi. 

A bow tie shaped fort has had quite a journey since it was first erected towards the end of 15th CE. Standing on a steep hillock it overlooks the vast expanse of Arabian Sea. A perfect location to keep an eye on the incoming vessels and that was the purpose that this hill was fortifies. Today though it provides a beautiful vantage point to get a top view of the sea that lets you feel its vastness while the roaring sound of waves hitting the walls below remind you the power it holds within itself. From the tiny bastions that are now aesthetically protected by thick glass sheets you can feel the sea like nature’s light and sound show. Height is such that even the birds fly below your eye level – a treat for bird watchers I guess.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, July 07, 2014

Go Goa XV: Celebrating Monsoons with Sao Jao



Come third week of June and the Goans are ready to jump in the well – literally. No, they are doing it for any wrong reasons, but to fish out the gifts hidden there on the occasion of Sao Jao – the festival that celebrates the feast of St John the Baptist. The wells are full of water around this time of the year and people enjoy jumping in the wells, in rivers or just dancing in the pouring rains. It could well be the rain festival of Goa. It happens in almost all villages in Goa around their wells, rivers, canals or ponds. In the more urban areas, swimming pools or artificially created ponds suffice for the purpose. Village of Siolim is famous for its Sao Jao celebrations as it hosts a boat festival as well, and this is where I went to see the festival.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Go Goa XIV: Goa Chakra - A tribute to the Wheel

Intricately Carved Wooden Wheel
Goa Chakra is a part Goa Chitra Museum with a huge hall dedicated to carriages from various eras and from various states of India. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, June 27, 2014

Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram


This temple dominated the public memory across the country for the astonishing amount of gold that was found in its age-old vaults. The images created of the vaults jostled in my mind as I walked to this temple from the main road along with the story of the kings of Travancore who consider themselves the servant of the Lord Padmanabhaswamy here. The dark wood palace stands right next to the temple.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Is it worth that Picture?


I took the above picture at Isle of Wight in Scotland way back in 2003. I had just bought my first digital camera and this was my first trip after I got that toy in my hand. I was looking at the cliffs and such clear blue waters for the first time in my life. I was excited to say the least. To take this picture I lied down on my stomach on a slanting rock. One small slip and I would have been history. The reason that lived to tell the tale can only be attributed to my good luck and some divine forces of nature that did not give me that slight push.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Go Goa XIII - Caranzalem beach, Just past Sunset

River Mandovi flows through the capital city of Goa -Panjim or Panaji and merges into the Arabian sea near Miramar beach. The U shaped land here extends from Aquada Fort area on northern tip to the Raj Bhavan, Dona Paula beach at the southern tip and is perfect place to witness the placid Mandovi joining the calm Arabian seas at the base. A few yards south from Miramar beach is Caranzalem beach area visited largely by the locals living in the area, like myself. Snippets of this peaceful beach for you:


Just past the sunset, all the sea birds have already left for nests, skies are clear and the beach is serene. Few ships form the background of the seas and the tip of landmass on either side just visible.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, June 12, 2014

5 reasons to chose ITC’s Raviz Ayurvedic Resort & Spa at Kollam


On our trip to Kerala we stayed at ITC’s Raviz Ayurvedic Resort & Spa at Kollam – a beautiful property located on the southern edge of Ashtmudi Lake – a lake that is still virgin in the overtly touristy Kerala. Now as an ITC property you expect impeccable service and sustainable luxury and you get it. You get all that you expect in a resort that is like a destination in itself like various sporting facilities and evening performances. The location in the middle of backwaters is like an icing on the cake. Being in Kerala, it also presents the local flavor in every possible way like a boat filled with spices in the lobby, the temple wall murals in the rooms, Kathakali dolls at the entrance. So let me tell you what stands out over and above these expectations:

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Saturday, June 07, 2014

Ponmudi – Southern end of Western Ghats


Ponmudi or literally the golden hill is a hill station at the fag end of Western Ghats, not too far from the city of Thiruvananthpuram. Honestly when I read about it, I expected it to just another hill station near a big city. I could not have been more wrong. It turned out to be nature’s extravaganza – with rolling hills, roaming clouds and narrow winding roads.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, June 02, 2014

Tamil Nadu Tales XII: Kanyakumari – The land’s end



In Kanyakumari, no matter what your focus may be, you cannot miss the giant statue of Thiruvallur – the ancient poet and philosopher of Tamil Nadu, who is said to have lived in Kanyakumari. This statue was installed at the dawn of 21st century on Jan 1st 2000 that makes it a modern Indian marvel. Literature on this statue says that it stands on 38 feet platform to mark the 38 chapters of virtue in his work Thirukurral. The stone statue is 133 feet high with face alone some 20 feet high. It seems it has been handcrafted under the supervision of stapathi and on the principles of vaastu shastra. Pity is that there is no in situ documentation or guide service that explains this when you are there. Should his literature not be available at the same place? The ferry does not stop at this island and you just pass by it, but you can see it from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial quite clearly.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tamil Nadu Tales XI: Vivekananda Rock Memorial, KanyaKumari



Going to Kanyakumari was a long-standing dream, probably since the time I first heard the term Kashmir to Kanyakumari for India. I lived in Kashmir as a child and Kanyakumari was always very far off for a long time. It was that thrill of visiting the tip of India, to be able to see the sunrise and sunset at the same time, to be able to see sun going down and moon coming up on a full moon night.  It was only when I started living in Bangalore it seemed feasible but for some reason it always remained elusive. I planned a trip many times, but it remained jinxed for many years. This month when we planned a South Kerala trip with a clear intent to do Kanyakumari, it still tried to play hard. A hurricane in the Indian Ocean brought in incessant rains in Trivandrum, where we based ourselves and everyone said we would not be able to visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial there. I was inclined to believe that jinx was still on and coming so far has not helped, but against popular advise decided to go and see whatever is possible and hope that rain gods will take a break and allow us to visit the famous rock.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ayurveda for Travelers


You cannot go to Kerala and not experience its Ayurveda and it’s a privilege when you can do so surrounded by backwaters. Imagine sitting in the spacious spa room with water and greenery soothing your mind too. When I reached Kollam I was drenched for 3 days in the unexpected rains of Trivandrum and had cold and fever. This is something that we travelers face quite often, At Kollam, we stayed at ITC’s WelcomeHotel Raviz Resort & Ayurveda Spa – a beautiful resort in the Southern edge of vast Ashtmudi Lake and I took this opportunity to ask their doctor how can Ayurveda help us. Here are the tips from Dr Vishnuraj Prakash on How Ayurveda can help travelers:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Saturday, May 17, 2014

South Kerala – First Impressions


Just back after spending a week in South Kerala – Trivandrum, Kollam and a bit of Cochin and here are the first impressions for you.

  1. Kerala is a Jal-Pradhan or water dominant region, you can never be too far from a water body and this is the same water that brings tourists from all over to the state. I do not know if they have yet created a deity to worship the same.
  2. Waterways are marked like highways on the map and used for transportation. There are ferries running between cities – though they take much longer than the road travel, but they are still being used by the local people to travel. During the day waterways belong to tourism and transportation industry and at night to fishermen.
  3. Rail and road network is excellent and you can reach most areas through public transport if you want.
  4. Always carry an umbrella with you in Kerala – you would need it for either sun or rain. My most imposing visual of Trivandrum remains a street full of primarily black umbrellas in pouring rain.
  5. Always carry a white lungi with you if you want to visit temples of the state – if you are a woman not in Sari. For men you must remove your shirt – have bare upper body and wear the same lungi. This can be annoying but you really do not have a choice if you want to see those magnificent temples that are much better preserved than elsewhere.
  6. Autos in Kerala are better than rest of the country, they charge reasonably and do not try to fleece you just because you are a visitor. Since they quote reasonable, you waste no time and energy in negotiations.
  7. Sheer amount of dark wood in old structures here makes you think about the amount of wood they would have had and the sheer longevity of the wood – some of them have been standing strong for many centuries. However I found the dark interiors a bit depressing.
  8. Black or darkest shades of blue and green are the favorite color of women – all around on the roads I could see women either in their traditional white Saris with a small golden or colored border or they were in black – as if other colors were not on the horizon.
  9. Kerala Railway stations still have old wooden Higgin Bothams book shops that if I am not wrong are extinct elsewhere – at least in their wooden avatar.
  10. Appam & Stew that is sold all around India as Kerala dish is hard to find in general eateries. They all have it in their menu but most would not serve it. I could get it only on the last day and that too on request.
  11. Water is always served hot here that I found strange given that it is such a hot and humid place. In some places it was pink colored and I can only guess that it comes from Kokam like fruit.
  12. Finally, I think God has a certain shade of green reserved for Kerala – you see it only here.
Will write about the destination and experiences soon enough.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, May 12, 2014

Germany Gem IX: Sculpting Wine




On a warm afternoon we walked into an idyllic surrounding of a quaint vineyard in Dresden- Pillnitz run by Klaus Zimmerling and his polish artist wife Malgorzata Chodakowska. Vineyards and wine tasting tours are quite common in this part of the world with most big vineyards having a tour brochure that for a fee takes you around the vineyard, let to have a look at the grape vines, show you the unique process of wine production and let you taste the wine that they eventually hope you will purchase. It is an experience that one can definitely explore at least once in a lifetime, even if you do not drink. There is a certain romance associated with vineyards and wines in this region that is so much an essential part of the culture here.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Go Goa XII: Butterfly Conservatory, Ponda



Who is not enchanted by the colorful butterflies flying around them. Have we all not tried to catch them as kids? Have we not wondered at these fragile being that carry so many colors. Butterfly Conservatory of Goa is one family's effort to create a haven for butterflies...

Friday, May 02, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Friday, May 02, 2014

Diving in Malvan



I had visited Malvan and Sindhudurg last year with Deccan Odyssey, when I enjoyed the fort in the sea and the quite Tarkarli beach with a lavish Malvani lunch. What I missed on was in that trip was the adventure activities – Scuba Diving and Snorkeling. Soon after I did get to Snorkel in South China sea in Malaysia, so Scuba Diving still remained on my to-do list. After we shifted to Goa, I had Malvan and Scuba Diving in my mind. This Tuesday we did an impromptu driving trip to Malvan primarily for Diving.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Go Goa XI: Bigfoot Cross Museum



A Goan family goes on a Europe visit and comes back with some 250 different types of crosses collected from 8 different countries. This, 8 years back, was the beginning of their cross collection which then got generous additions from Goan Christian community. As they started exhibiting their collections, more and more people started sending them crosses from their personal collection. Mahendra Alvares the head of the family and founder of the Bigfoot Cross museum today has upwards of 1500 crosses with more being added on a regular basis. I was told that this is one of its kind collections in the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Mouse Charmers - Digital Pioneers of India


Pick up your copy from Flipkart or e-book from Amazon

‘The Internet has transformed business and society. Today to very many of us, life without the web is unimaginable. In business a new breed of entrepreneurs have sprung up whose whole life is the web, creating new business models, reaching new markets and becoming the new normal. These stories are inspiring examples of such successes!’
T.V. Mohandas Pai Chairman, Aarin Capital Partners
The Mouse Charmers
Digital Pioneers of India
Anuradha Goyal
Published by Random House India, Rs 299 trade paperback

‘Are Indian companies and start-ups missing something important by ignoring local language viewers and users of digital content? Are women entrepreneurs too shy of boasting about their achievements? What kind of eco-system will make the life of start-ups in digital age smoother and more meaningful are some of the questions this books addresses, rather well. Those who wish to enter and shake up the inertia in digital markets may find this book useful. But those who wish to support them may find it even more useful.’
Prof Anil K. Gupta Professor at IIM Ahmedabad and founder of Honey Bee Network

‘Anuradha Goyal’s The Mouse Charmers is a fascinating account of India’s trailblazing digital entrepreneurs... Well researched and with deep insights into how these businesses work, The Mouse Charmers will inspire others to both study Indian entrepreneurs like Goyal has done or take up the challenge of entrepreneurship like those she writes about have done. Either way this is an important, timely and inspiring book that showcases the opportunities that India offers and the challenges that have to be overcome along the way.’
Jaideep Prabhu Professor at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and co-author of the bestselling Jugaad Innovation

The advent of Internet has been a significant game-changer for our generation.  Mouse Charmers are a new breed of entrepreneurs in emerging India powered by the Internet and the opportunities that it offers to create new markets and to cater to old markets in new ways. Some of them have already achieved success where they can be called iconic and inspiring while others have powerful ideas that put them on the same path.

Featuring:
Flipkart * MakeMyTrip * Big Basket * CaratLane * Zomato * Games2Win
ImagesBazaar * Chai with Lakshmi * shaadi.com * RangDe * CommonFloor * IndiBlogger

Anuradha Goyal tells the stories of twelve of these digital entrepreneurs in three key areas: commerce, content and connectors.  She examines how they started out, the innovations and technologies involved, their business models, and unique marketing strategies.

Inspiring and insightful, The Mouse Charmers is an essential guide for aspiring digital entrepreneurs.

Pick up your copy from Flipkart or e-book from Amazon


Monday, April 21, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, April 21, 2014

Dandeli: Home of Malabar Pied Hornbill


Spotting the Malabar Pied Hornbill is not difficult if you are in the vicinity of Kali River that flows through the western ghats in Dandeli in Karnataka, India. One of the about 60 odd types of Hornbills, Malabar Pied Hornbill is predominant in Dandeli, in addition to jungles of Madhya Pradesh and Sri Lanka. Our very short trip in March this year to Dandeli Jungle resort was an opportunity to sight this amazing bird to our heart's content.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Go Goa X: An Ode to the Houses of Goa



Walk through the streets of 'yet to be dominated by modern construction' parts of Goa and one wonders if people tell their address as that bright pink house next to the bright green one on a road. The houses are as colorful as they can get and churches are pristine white -standing gracefully in the town squares, on the crossroads leading to various parts of the town. I saw this but did not realize there is a connection between these two color schemes till I visited Houses of Goa museum and discovered that people were not allowed to have an All White House as that was a privilege reserved for the churches in the city. Designed like a ship, that to me looked like a bird with two round windows serving as bird-eyes, this is a museum that values design as much as it values the history of Goan architecture. A kind of paradox though - a very contemporary / modern building trying to preserve the heritage of yesteryear - may be that is how it plans to documents itself in the pages of the history.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, April 14, 2014

Hyderabad Hues XXXV: Creative patterns at Paigah Tomb, Hyderabad



There are many intricately designed geometric patterns all over the place. These are not just unique, but also a demonstration of excellence in craftsmanship of the artists.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, April 10, 2014

Video of the month: Shigmotsav Ghodi Dance

Shigmotsav 2014 at Panjim, the Ghodi Dance performance in colorful attire with high decibel Har Har Mahadev in the air.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, April 07, 2014

Go Goa IX: Shri Mangeshi Temple, Ponda



It is not very well known that Goa is home to many prominent and ancient temples. Before the Portuguese came, Goa was home to Saraswat Brahmins and the temples of their deities. As Portuguese took over and started pushing religious conversions, some percentage of population converted while the others moved to areas that were yet to come under Portuguese and when the moved they took their deities along with them. This is how most temples today are found in the Ponda district of Goa – that came under Portuguese much later and by then they had become more accepting of the other religions.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, April 03, 2014

Jhabua's Micro Bead Jewelry



I traveled to Jhabua last year for Bhagoria festival and on an evening stroll we went to an artist shop who makes these micro bead jewelry in vibrant colors. Now I have seen this in many modern jewelry shops across India and was surprised to know that it is made in remote villages in tribal belts of India.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, March 31, 2014

Hidden inside Dandeli - Syntheri Rock



In the middle of Dandeli forests, stands a lone giant rock like an old saint who has chosen to live in the jungle and has grown sitting or meditating here. River Kaneri, a tributary of Kali River, flows at its base, as if touching the feet of this giant old saint. The size of the rock makes you feel small – somewhere telling you that you are a very small part of the big universe and the way it hides itself in the folds of the forest is bound to make you feel curious.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Go Goa VIII: Shigmo – a little known cultural extravaganza



Shigmo is the Goan version of Holi, a springtime festival that is a farewell to winters that in Goa’s case is also the tourist’s time and get indoors for upcoming summers and monsoons.  Now what makes it special is that it is celebrated on the streets of various villages for good 14 days. Each day a few villages celebrate and the villagers dressed in all their finery come out, play loud music and dance. This year I got to see Shigmo up, close and personal as it happened two streets away from my home in Goa.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, March 24, 2014

Dandeli: By the river Kali



Kali is a common name for many rivers that flow across Indian subcontinent right from Nepal to Uttarakhand to MP and Karnataka. Last week I got to spend some time by the Kali River that flows through Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka – not too far from my current home in Goa. First thing that we encountered as we drove towards Dandeli is the tall dam called Supa Dam on the river and the back water that it creates. Towards the end of the day, we saw the sun setting on the backwaters from the ramparts of a wall bridging the area for dam. There were lots of tourists swimming and playing at the edges.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Wish List in Travel Secrets


My travel wish list appeared in Travel Secrets Magazine couple of months ago. Hope the higher forces are listening and re-aligning themselves to make this happen.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, March 17, 2014

Discover Delhi XXXV: TJs - The brand from Tihar Jail



I was in Delhi for some work and for the first time I crossed Tihar Jail.But for the boards announcing its presence, I would have never figured out that this is country's most famous jail. I was still sorting out the dichotomy between reality & perception, Tihar Haat - a swanky looking shop saw me in my face. I passed by it on first day but made a mental note to stop over the next day.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, March 13, 2014

Win an All expenses Paid Trip to Malaysia



Is visiting the beautiful country of Malaysia in your to-do list? We give you multiple chances to strike it off and win an all expense paid trip to Malaysia!  


Monday, March 10, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Monday, March 10, 2014

Andhra Adventures XVI: Mythology Museum, Surendrapuri



Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam is its name but it is more popularly known as Surendrapuri or Mythological Awareness Center. It  is  a museum that celebrates the Hindu Mythology, its history, its epics, its Gods and Goddesses. Located roughly 40 kms from Hyderabad, it was founded by Sh Kunda Satyanarayana in memory of his son Surendra Babu. Once you have gone through this vast museum you wonder at the effort of one man who had the vision of bringing all the divine places and concepts of Indian Mythology at one place and that led him to build this unique museum. I am not aware of any other similar museum in India or anywhere else at least not at this scale.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, March 06, 2014

Flowers



As the Indian winter draws to an end, the right season to be in Delhi, some of the best flower shows one can visit are held at Garden of Five Senses that I wrote about revisiting again, and all over NCR region. Lalbaugh at Bangalore is another must visit flower exhibition destination.
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