2016: a year of new places, new emotions and self discovery


We know this post is a tad bit late; an entire month in 2017 has gone by. With a few important decisions to be taken, things have taken a different turn this year (definitely for the best) and has taken up some of our time. We’ve promised ourselves to get back to writing on a more regular basis and what hit us last week was when a dear friend who was visiting said – “frankly, your blog is almost dead”. This is most definitely true and it’s unfair that we haven’t been sharing our travel tales with you. 2017 is going to be better, we promise 🙂

2016 was quite an eventful year for us; filled with travel to new places and discovering the lesser known was a hidden agenda for us. It’s amazing what this can do to your soul. Continue reading


A little of ‘Dutch’ to remember them by


The entrance to the Sadras Fort

About 15 odd kilometers away from the famous Mahabalipuram-also known as the Jewel of the Coromandel Coast-lies the hidden town of Sadurangapattinam. A small town tucked away next to Kalpakkam, was once famously known for a fairly big Dutch settlement. The Sadras Fort is one such imprint that the Dutch have left us with before they were driven away by the British. Continue reading

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it…”


Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it

Michelangelo couldn’t have said this any better. During our trip to Mahabalipuram aka Mamallapuram, we decided to pay a visit to the Sculpture Museum. It would have been unfair not to, given that this place is filled with impeccable sculptures. This place is a must-visit for those who visit the Jewel of the Coromandel Coast. Continue reading

“Faith does not teach us to harbour grudges between us”



“Sare jahan se accha hindustan hamara”

Co-existing in this world today seems to be quite a task. When we look around, all that we can see is intolerance and the usual love-hate relationship that’s probably going to be never-ending. However, what we forget to do these days is look around and realize that India is a standing example of co-existence. While we did have most of it damaged during invasions and wars, we still seem to have some of the best and the most magnificent structures around the world.

Co-existence not only in terms of religion, cultures and beliefs but also styles of architecture that were used to erect each of these structures. To add to that, nature seems to have played an important role in amplifying the idea of co-existence in India – the Mountain Railways of India and Rani-ki-Vav are shining examples.

As a continuation to our World Heritage Week Series, here’s our next 5 World Heritage Sites that stand tall and proud: Continue reading

Busting the Myth of the Seven Pagodas of the Coromandel Coast


These are exciting times for history and travel buffs to Tamil Nadu with the discovery of ruins 800 meters off the coast of Mamallapuram by the NIO (National Institute of Oceanography) and ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).


A NIO-ASI excavation near Punjeri village, 1.5kms from Mamalla in 2003 revealed remains an ancient sea-port from early historic and medieval times. During the tsunami in December 2004, locals had noticed a row of boulders when the sea receded before they were swallowed. One of them had remarked that they saw sunlight glistening off the top of a pagoda. Marine archaeological explorations in 2004-05 revealed many structures including long walls, pathways leading to a raised platform, scattered rectangular dressed stone blocks and a broken statue representing a lion. The presence of biological aquatic growth have made it difficult to pin-point the structures. These have now been reinforced by a recent exploration from March 10th to 18th. These were indeed vestiges of the ancient port. Continue reading

The Jewel of the Coromandel Coast – through the eyes of the Indian rulers


One thing that fascinates us whenever we travel to a place is the history behind it. The Good Friday weekend worked out well for us when we decided to head to the Coromandel Coast of The Bay of Bengal – Mamallapuram.

We decided to dig deep and look at how Mamallapuram came into being to what it is today through the annals avaiable. In this post, we look at Mamallapuram through the eyes of the Indian rulers.

One of the earliest references comes in a piece of early Tamil literature: Perumban-Arruppadai that talks highly of a local chieftain named Tondaiman Ilamtiraiyan (1st Century CE) as the ruler of Tondaimandalam with Kanchipuram as his capital. There is mention of a port with a lighthouse. With praises heaped on Mamalla from the 5th century onwards, it is likely that it was indeed the port mentioned in this text. Continue reading