North meets South in Sitaram Bagh

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the old city in Hyderabad is the Sitaram Bagh Temple. Built by a banker Mr. Puranmal Ganeriwal in 1832, this centuries old Shri Sitaram Mandir is a sprawling complex of temples and beautiful airy courtyards spread over twenty five acres. From the main entrance and its imposing facade…

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Town of Hymns: Manthani

Named after a Khiledar under the reign of Sikandar Jha during 1803 to 1823, Syed Karimuddin, Karimnagar is one district in Telangana, which has ancient places seeped in historic importance to both Hindus and Buddhists alike. The most popular amongst these is Manthani. Home to the ruins of a Gautameswara Temple, Manthani is a timeless village from an…

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How I got my Indian Passport in 3 days

Tatkal. Thats Sanskrit for ‘instant’. Under the Indian Government’s Tatkal Scheme, one can get instant bookings on citizen services ranging from railway tickets to passport. A fast track process for those needing them at a short notice. This has been around for a while and we have all waited online, for Tatkal bookings to open,…

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Lost in Time: Nagunur Ruins

Less than three hours from Hyderabad, the district of Karimnagar in Telangana is peppered with numerous lesser-known forts and ancient ruins, making it the ideal day trip destination. Not yet over run with tourists, here you can happily explore at your own pace. Home to a  cluster of Kalyana and Kakatiya temple ruins, Nagunur is one such…

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The Great Living Chola Temples: Vol I

In and around Thanjavur are The Great Living Chola Temples. Three temple complexes dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Built by the Cholas, who were undoubtedly one of the most powerful monarchies of South India that ruled for over four and a half centuries, all of these ancient temples are ‘living temples’ –…

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From a billion years ago.

Thwack. Down came the elephant’s trunk on my head, in a gesture of blessing. I was surprised at how gentle it was, gentle giants indeed. We were in Trichy, Tamil Nadu to attend a wedding at our family friends’ home and the temple elephant was here to bless the newly weds, to flag off their…

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In the Nomadic Settlement of Puga

Snow crunched under my heavy boots as I stepped out of the heated SUV, into the freezing winter of Ladakh. It was -16 degrees and we had just arrived in Puga, a little nomadic village in the Changthang valley. Located in the Eastern Ladakh Region of Jammu and Kashmir, Puga is a geothermal field and…

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Streets of Pondicherry – Part I: Art

New Settlement. That is Pudicheri for you. Interpreted into Pondicherry by and for the French. From the Romans who came here to trade in the 1st century AD to the Portuguese who returned in 1521 to trade in textiles, Pondicherry has had a colourful legacy. Not the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Sangamas or the Mughals; not even…

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Pondicherry, Racist much?

Pondicherry has South India’s most distinctive sub culture. They say if you can’t afford a ticket to Europe, travel to Pondicherry instead. Stroll through the white part of town and be transported in time and place to a laid back French town where cafes cool and inviting are at every turn. But, just how racist…

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A Trinity of Faiths & more: Medak

Everyone in Hyderabad has heard of the Medak Church and if you grew up in this city it is highly likely that you would have even gone there on a school trip. It is after all the largest diocese in all of Asia and is believed to be second only to the Vatican, even across the…

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