Best of the Travel Bag Tales

The best experiences I have had on the road to places that have etched more than an indelible mark on my mind.

  • Porthimund near Ooty
    Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Uncovering the secret Porthimund lake in the Nilgiris

    There is a lot more to Ooty and the Nilgiris than the cliched tourist brochures and websites would have you believe. I couldn’t get enough of the Nilgiris during my last trip and knew for sure there were a lot many things that lay hidden. To uncover these, you either have to know people who know about these ‘secrets’ or be a Google ninja. Either way (and especially if you own a vehicle), sometimes the best map to follow may be your intuition. Parsons valley and Porthimund lake were just two best kept secrets that I unearthed through countless hours spent reading forums and blogs. And once a rough itinerary…

  • A hot tea in Dharamsala
    Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Himachal Pradesh,  Karnataka,  Photo essays,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    The smaller moments in travel

    Often during my travels, I ponder about the reasons why I travel and about what I’ll take back from my experiences. Most of it till now, has been about breathtaking moments that are steeped in visually arresting sights. Sometimes, it is also about astounding architectural creations that have withstood the ravages of time and the elements and given me a peek into fascinating historical accounts of the times gone by. However, bundled in between these are the smaller moments – the ones that have filled me with pure joy or added that bright spark to a trip and occasionally, left a profound influence on my opinion about various aspects of…

  • Mannavanur Lake
    Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Discovering Mannavanur on a trip to Kodaikanal

    It was a lovely Saturday morning – not too cold, with a gentle breeze blowing. Our vehicle had stopped that day at a decrepit tea shop a few kilometers outside Salem. I asked the kid there for directions to the toilet. In response, he just pointed to the backyard and uttered a single word “kaadu” (forest). I was sure he had misunderstood my question, so I came back to the car with a bemused smile on my face. Kodaikanal to Mannavanur Our plan was to spend one day in the idyllic environs of Mannavanur, a small village 30 odd kms to the west of the popular hill station of Kodaikanal,…

  • Best of the Travel Bag Tales,  Tamil Nadu,  Travel Bag

    Exploring Avalanche and Emerald in Ooty

    2013 had dawned upon us and having traveled to Yercaud, Hampi, Chikmagalur, Belur, Halebid, Bijapur, Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal in the past 6 months, there was an ardent desire to kick in the new year with another trip. None of us had ever been to the Nilgiris and off-season is, I feel, always a better time to visit popular tourist destinations. What is more, I also had the beautiful twin lakes of Avalanche and Emerald in mind that are not exactly mainstream, touristy ‘places to visit‘ in Ooty. The Nilgiris, so named due to the mist induced bluish appearance and also due to the blue Kurinji¬†flowers that bloom once in…