Bukhara – Small, colourful and full of character

The city has so subtly crept into the Indian lexicon that we barely noticed. One of the most famous Indian restaurant known for its succulent kebabs was named after it – aptly because some of the kebabs and shashlik in Bukhara was sublime. Plums also derive their Hindi name from this city -“Alu Bukhara”. While “Alu” is a potato in Hindi, it is a Plum … Continue reading Bukhara – Small, colourful and full of character

Samarkand – Astounding architecture and history

The Afrosiyab from Tashkent departed in the evening and rolled into Samarkand around 9 pm, right on schedule. The ride itself was quite comfortable and the modern Spanish train touched a cool 200 kmph. Once out of the train station, it took some deft negotiation with the cab drivers before we got going. The ride into Samarkand can be quite deceptive as at night it … Continue reading Samarkand – Astounding architecture and history

Tashkent – Fountains, New Churches and Train Stations

If compared to any Central Asian or even European capital, what Tashkent misses by the absence of a true commercial city center, it more than makes up with thousands of fountains. Every large park worth its name would have a display of dancing fountains with hundreds, if not thousands, of streams of water sending across a happy message. The city is amazingly green with wide … Continue reading Tashkent – Fountains, New Churches and Train Stations

Uzbekistan – Planning to see the history of our culture

The modern Indian (especially North Indian) culture has more roots in the seldom discussed country of Uzbekistan than most would believe. While the Guptas and Tomaras have been rulers of North India for a long time, the area was plundered by Taimur in the 15th century. This completely reset the culture and even some of the history as we read it. Post that, the Mughals … Continue reading Uzbekistan – Planning to see the history of our culture

Corbett- Rare combination of luxury and nature

There are truly a lot of flavors of Jim Corbett National park – you just have to choose which one you want. It’s a beautiful forest, very green with two rivers, many tributaries, and a large lake. It hosts a lot of wildlife, tigers, elephants, crocodiles, deer, and many others. The way it is split up, though makes it harder to cover all of it … Continue reading Corbett- Rare combination of luxury and nature

Sariska – A short drive to nature

The unusual problem of 2020 needed some unorthodox solutions. The solution to the ‘no-travel’ problems seems to be road trips to wildlife sanctuaries. I grew up traveling to these nature hotspots, so this isn’t very crazy for me. However, a year of back-to-back visits does sound a bit much. Though this is 2020, anything is possible. For a while, we flip-flopped between Bharatpur and Sariska … Continue reading Sariska – A short drive to nature

Bali – serenity of Nusa Dua and some hidden gems

The drive to our hotel in Nusa Dua was surprisingly smooth and raised some hopes for finding less traffic for the remaining half of the trip. The hotel was fabulous and luxurious. The ground floor rooms opened into a lawn with direct access to the beach – that was amazing. The food was more expensive than the smaller places we had been to, but it … Continue reading Bali – serenity of Nusa Dua and some hidden gems

Bali – Culture, food, temples and some traffic

Bali is exactly what happens when a rich cultural heritage meets a lot of tourists. It takes some very deep cultural roots to survive as an island dominated by one religion in a country populated by another. Indonesia is a fast developing country going through all the challenges that come with it – an over-crowded capital, pollution, and overpopulation leading to overutilization of resources. Jakarta … Continue reading Bali – Culture, food, temples and some traffic