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

Pondicherry and its role in India’s struggle to freedom, and thereby its own


“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” – Jawahar Lal Nehru

Pondicherry had an immense role to play in India’s freedom movement. Firstly, it fought for its own freedom. Secondly it actively supported the Freedom movement against the British and even housed nationalists who courted arrest by the British.

No trip to Pondicherry is complete without a visit to Aurobindo Ashram. Aurobindo was influenced by studies on rebellion and revolutions against England in medieval France and the revolts in America and Italy. Even though he favoured non-cooperation movements and passive resistance publicly; in private he took up secret revolutionary activity as a preparation for open revolt, in case passive revolt failed. Continue reading

As the Europeans arrive on the Coromandel Coast…


“Imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism.”

The proximity of the ports on the Eastern parts of India, to Southeast Asia and China, made them very attractive for the Europeans. The first Europeans to set foot on the shores were the Portuguese in the 16th Century; in all probability they were linked to Jesuit missions, as well as the spice trade which started to dominate the scene right across Indian coastline then. Details of their travels to South India can be traced in the accounts of Jesuit Antonio Rubino, written in early 17th century.

The Danes were next in line, setting up a trading base close by in Tranquebar (Tharangambadi) in the year 1620. The Dutch East India Company built the magnificent Sadras fort as a commercial outpost at Sadhurangapattinam in the early 17th century. Continue reading

Through the lens of ancient mariners: the emergence of Poduke


Think of Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Khmer, Champa and Eastern Indian dynasties. What connects them? Not just the fact that they were colossal empires, but ones that specialised in maritime trade. The secrets to unlocking the history behind any region is often linked to its description in ancient literature and based on accounts of sea faring traders and merchants.

Tamil Nadu has numerous entries for ports of commercial trade dating back centuries ago mentioned frequently in Sangam literature as well as that famous book for seafarers, Periplus of Erythrean Sea. Mylapore, Mamalla/Poonjeri, Kaveripumpattinam, Nagapattinam, Korkai and Kumari were important maritime trade centres. 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

Our hope to conserve, preserve and celebrate: Museums


On account of International Museum Day that is celebrated on 18th of May every year since the year 1977, we wanted to look at some of the museums around the world that should be part of some of your travel plans when you visit these places. Why Museums one might wonder.

With the turn of times where we have seen destruction of antiquities by barbarians. Museums have become safe havens to conserve artefacts from falling into wrong hands. From the earliest inscriptions to  technology marvels and from Roman coins to bronze figures, they remain a place where our journey through time is best understood.

Similar to our World Heritage Day series, here’s our first post on the International Museum Day series. In this post, we look at a handful of museums from the Southern part of India. Continue reading