Dream-like, Mysore Palace – of colors, domes & art!

Some places elevate your mood, and make you feel special. Mysore Palace is definitely such place. I have been to Mysore 7-8 times in last 10 years & have never missed paying a visit to the royal palace for it makes me feel special. When I visited the palace for the first time in 2008,…

Sign up for a visual treat at Pushkar fair, 2018

Somebody said that all good things in life are free. I couldn’t agree enough – a warm sunny afternoon in December, or dipping your feet in a gushing stream of water, or the colorful spread on an otherwise clean sky on evening – all are free, and the best of experiences. I thought I had seen…

The quest for Neelakurinji- the once in 12 years wonder

2018 was the year of many things – of data breaches, of executive resignations, of political upheavals, natural disaster, of new records in Sports. For me personally, it was a year of new insecurities, never-known fears, and long days that were spent being stressed. 2018 was also the year of Neelakurinji, the flower that blooms…

12 Lifetime experiences from Incredible India

‘Which one is your favorite place?’, people often ask me. And when I take time to think about one, they are like, ‘Come on, there’s got to be a favorite’. And I think harder but I can’t seem to place one as favorite over others. Because it’s just not the places but what you have…

How to not be a spoilsport when travelling in groups

Remember School Picnics when the senior most kids would occupy the last seat and you would be left with the ‘unwanted’ ones – those next to the teachers. And while sitting on those hot seats, you would eye the back seaters who would play Antakshari and dance, while the only awesome company you had was…

A weekend trip to the British Summer Capital – Shimla

I remember the new year of 2018. One of my many resolutions were to grow my Instagram followership by posting daily. Did it grow? Yes, but not substantially. It just feels like yesterday- scrolling my Instagram feed & looking at my ever-stagnant Twitter followers on the 31st of 2017. And it’s September of ’18 already….

The touch of love: Allepey Backwaters, Kerala

Kerala – God’s own country is not called God’s for no reason. Dotted with coconut trees, situated by the coast, with sultry weather most of the year, balmy air in the evenings, full of tea plantations in shades of Green, with myriad beaches & backwaters, pioneer of Ayurveda treatments, skilled in Kuchipudi & their own…

Happy 72nd, India! STAY INCREDIBLE.

कुछ बात है कि हस्ती मिटती नहीं हमारी सदियों रहा है दुश्मन दौर–ए–ज़माँ हमारा India – one of the oldest civilizations of the world, famous for its unity in diversity, blessed with changing landscapes from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, tolerant of religions and faiths where Hindu kids celebrate Christmas as much as they celebrate Diwali, Christian…

15 gems from 15 states of Incredible India: travel today!

As most of you know, Life on Weekends was born in the November of 2015. And since then, I have been blogging on and off, but travelling constantly. I began as a naive traveller who would want to holiday anywhere (and everywhere) glamorous, dress well & click pictures (tons of it), and spam my Facebook…

Are you thankful enough? You would be at Hall of Fame, Ladakh

Come Fridays and my mind lights up a like a bulb. I get all the 51 ideas to make my life awesome, and not only the Left or the Right, but unknown sides of my brain get activated because my mind is endlessly creating lists of ‘how to make your weekends awesome’. It doesn’t end…

Five places of evergreen tourism of my state, Uttar Pradesh

“Where do you come from? Delhi or Noida?” “Which part of Delhi do you come from?” When I answer, ‘Ghaziabad’ to these questions. I swear, their eyeballs bulge & tongues come out. People in Delhi & all the villages and cities around Delhi think that people from Ghaziabad dress in Black kurta-pyjama, speak in vernacular…

The ever so young & ever so wise – Amer fort of Jaipur

Situated at a height & spread across an area of 4 kms., Amer keeps a watch on Jaipur, from 11 kms. away. Amer probably never goes to sleep, partly because it stands guard over Jaipur, but mostly because it’s always thinking of the good times, remembering it & taking pride in it. Decades of royal…

Ditch your routine and chase the monsoons in Goa

Most of the days I wake up dreading what’s awaiting me during the day day (not all, but parts of it). Some days I wake up with a smile on my face, because I got to sleep till late that day. It’s a weekend. And not just that, weekends also bring with itself the chance…

The trip of a Lifetime: 7 nights & 8 days in Leh Ladakh

Did you have a best friend when you were growing up? The one whom you would look forward to meet every evening. The one who would totally get you, talk to you the way no one had, listen to your problems, give you workable solutions & won’t make a big deal out of anything. The…

How you can take 12 trips in 12 months

‘How do you travel so much?’, I am often asked. The simple answer to this one is, ‘Well, I want to.’ Then, people ask me how do I manage to travel so much. Well, to that, there’s a bunch of things I do to manage travelling in a schedule as busy as it gets. So,…

Mehrangarh Fort: a photo story

My close friends tell me that I am an old soul. And they are right for I am an old soul. I love all ancient things & I see the beauty in them even if they are broken, ruined or chipping away. But some old things are as good as new. Ain’t they? Mehrangarh Fort,…

The Golden Sunset from the old Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

One of the many luxuries that travel brings with itself – is the gift of time. You could wake up at your own leisure. Go, take a walk, come back, rest some and then leave for the sight seeing. There’s just no better way to relax than this. Right? Well, no. Wrong! While we might…

Built Four, Shown Two; Char Minar from the city of Nizams

“Banaunga Chaar, dikhaunga do” said my Guide pointing towards the three, visible minarets of the Char Minar and moved forward with a stride that was increasingly difficult for me to match. We were in the acoustic marvels of India where you could clap at one end and the echo of it would be heard at…

The place of epiphany: the great Ashoka & Kalinga War

After having won the never-before Kalinga, the great emperor achieved what no one had done before him. But at what cost? This question would haunt him day and night & soon the great Mauryan emperor renounced everything and turned a monk. Over the years, he would play an instrumental role in heralding Buddhism in Indian…

The Scotland of India: Coorg, Karnataka

“Why don’t you go to Europe? It’s gorgeous.” “If you can’t afford Europe, explore Asia. That’s equally beautiful too.” “What’s so great about India that you take every other trip domestic only.” And if you think that, you clearly haven’t explored India because you can draw parallels between every other foreign exotic location and an…

The Jewel of India: Kashmir

Imagine yourself opening a box that’s been lying in the storage of your house. You don’t want to go, open the box because you dread the dust, the allergies & the dark. You know the box houses precious items but you put it off because – “who would enter the moist, damp & dark storage?”….

Paradise on Earth – of Tulip Gardens, Kashmir

गर फिरदौस रूहे ज़मीं अस्त  हमीनस्तो, हमीनस्तो हमीनस्तो!  If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this! I never knew that Kashmir was so beautiful until I saw it. I often heard about the place as a child & I grew up reading about Kashmir & its beauty…

The eternal sunshine of a snow-clouded mind!

Tons of ice-creams, volumes of ice & electricity bills running to pages – is how we beat heat here in North India. For all the love we have shown to the moon in our poetry and novels, we ended up offending the big daddy & he has decided to teach us a lesson with soaring…

Shhhh! The pursuit of Erotica in Khajuraho

An overnight train journey in a second AC compartment with a bunch of young people, my book & a good looking husband who knows a lot of random stuff is how my pursuit for erotica began. As I busied myself with the days of Malgudi, a chemistry was building up between the guy I married…

India beyond mountains & monuments: the incredible life

When Yann Martel won the Man Booker Prize in 2001 for his book, ‘Life of Pi’, many applauded his writing style, his imagination & the ability to build characters. Look at the protagonist – Piscine Patel, who was teased as Pissing patel, and his ingeniousness to rechristen himself as ‘Pi’. Tremendous & Terrific! I, however,…

The incredible Karnataka: of beaches, lighthouses & hills!

I have never been a party person. Those have always bored me with their obsession with absence of Vitamin D, music that threatens your eardrums & rules about how to dress up, who to speak with & how much to speak. I don’t like that. I like places that let me be where I can…

The Surviving Wheels of Time of Konark Sun Temple, Odisha!

What do you think when you think of time? Plenty at hand? Never enough? Fast slipping through fingers? Or Who cares? Or do you wonder where did it all go? I regularly look at my wrist watch & back calculate – how much is left till I do this, leave office, reach home, or have…

Jai Jagannath – echoes of enigma that remain a mystery!

“Jai Jagannath! Jai Jagannath! Jai Jagannath!” The small compound was echoing with these loud shouts. And with that went many hands in the air, of devotees! I was tempted to join them in chanting when another sound came from the background. It was a familiar sound; I had often heard it in movies – typical…

What they don’t tell you about Travelling – that goes wrong!

It all sounds state-of-the-art: weekend getaways, candid shots, losing oneself in the middle of nowhere & leading a life that’s a little better, a tad bit more fulfilling & slightly enriched than others. But travelling is not always as glorious as the listicles or podcasts make it sound. It’s uncomfortably sometimes, can be dangerous if…

Five ideas of perfect Valentine holiday destinations!

Come February & people begin talking about Valentine’s Day. From the time I can remember, there used to be such energy in school that we no longer needed Physics Classes to understand Laws of Conservation of Energy. We just knew. Exams would be round the corner. Revisions would be on. But the second week of…

Where they worship a Royal Enfield: Incredible India

India is an incredible country. We got all sorts here – admiring cows, paying respects to Banana & Banyan trees, marrying little girls to the idols in temples, worshipping in a place riddled with mice or bats & planning excursions to places with large ice bodies. And we do all that in style, in faith…

Chasing Strawberries in Mapro Garden, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar

Some of the best memories of my life somehow have food in it. These memories – of a great conversation over holidays, gorging rum & raisin cakes, a late night party with pizzas and drinks, a trip to some place remote with nothing in tummy but Maggi & Chai & the best – endless trips…

Top five holiday recommendations for the first long weekend of 2018

Much like the first date of teenage years, I am excited, hopeful & highly optimistic about the first weekend of this new year since this means vacation. Have you thought of the venue yet? 26th January is a Friday (drum roll) & the non-banking populace of India can spend these three days in style. It’s…

Bhimtal Diaries: The station near the hills

A chanced picture on my Facebook feed, a familiar name and the appetite for a break took me to Bhimtal last year where I spent three days, off the grid. No Facebook, no WhatsApp, no emails and no phone calls. Don’t believe it? Okay, 3 phone calls every day. Still, don’t believe me? Well, a…

The poetic Chittaur of Meerabai

मेरे तो गिरधर गोपाल दूसरो न कोई॥ जाके सिर सोई। तात मात भ्रात छांड़ि दई कुलकी कहा संतन ढिग बैठि बैठि लोक ई॥ किये टूक लीन्हीं लोई। After many battles & political tug-of-war, Chittaur was rising again but this time with the melody, like never before. Chittaur by then had witnessed many episodes of pride, valor…

Of Incredible India: Asaf-ud-Daula & Bada Imam Bara of Lucknow

Unmatched Heritage, proud legacy, splendid stories, indigenous craft, envious art & architecture & delicious food – India is all that & more & this is precisely why India is incredible. In this series, we will bring the untold stories from the nooks and corners of the country, waiting to be heard. Stories from the forgotten…

Hungry for travel? Here’s your 2018 bucket list!

2018 is here and with that comes 16 long weekends and at least 20 days of paid leave for us – lesser beings – who have to work (supposedly) 9 am to 6 pm, five days a week to earn a living & thus the means to – travel, travel & travel. No matter how…

Game for some bird watching in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

Freedom is a funny thing. You only get to appreciate it once you don’t have it. The more you fight for it, the more you crave it. How does freedom feel like? To me, it is – spreading my wings & flying high with nothing to control me or pull me back. The sky is…

The mighty warrior of Mewar: Rana Sangha

Chittaur hadn’t celebrated to its full yet, and destiny played its cards.  After the untimely demise of Rana Kumbha, Chittaurgarh came under dark once again and silently watched itself getting broken into parts. Now, all Chittaur had to do was wait – wait for its redemption & resurgence. Luckily, Chittaur didn’t have to wait for long….

Great wall of Kumbhalgarh – of King Kumbha of Chittor

Enter Mewar and look around – you will find yourself surrounded by forts to the point your eyes may stretch & beyond that. These forts are generally accompanied by lakes, ponds or bawris (stepped wells) now tended by localites who would don colorful attire from top to bottom. While ladies will be seen in tye-dye…

My Sully Moment: Flight no. #i5799

My first instinct was to check online – while I was up in the air – as to how to get out of a plane crash. Two seconds later I realised that Google won’t work so high. I frantically take out the card in the back pocket of every seat & read instructions on how to life jacket myself. I started groping for one under my seat, but couldn’t locate one. I got jolted & almost lost a tooth. 

The Golden Temple of God: Harminder Sahib, Amritsar

Swarn Mandir or fondly referred as ‘The Golden Temple’ (‘Sri Harmandir Sahib’) is a pilgrimage site of Sikhism (religion), but is equally revered by Hindus (specially from North India). It’s a gurudwara, a large part of which is made of Gold. And just like Gold, the place is pure and pious. The moment you enter the…

Nosh Farmaiye ki aap Lucknow me Hain!

Nosh Farmaiye ki aap Lucknow me Hain! (meaning – Have a taste for you are in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh). आस्मान की क्या है ताकत जो चुराये लखनऊ| लखनऊ मुज पर फिदा है, मा फिदा-ए-लखनऊ|| Not only for its heritage, culture, legacy and art, Lucknow is also popular for its food. Tunday Kabab,…

953 Jharokhas and one big Hawa Mahal

A king admires a palace & secretly wishes to build a similar/ better one in his own country and thus ends up building a beautiful, huge palace with many outlets to the outer world. The search for a ‘home’ never ends. A home – that’s yours, where you find peace, where you can be yourself….

Paradise in South – Kovalam, the beach city of Kerala

Coconut trees, Arabian Sea, Crescent-shaped beach, Lighthouses, Giant waves & sumptuous sea food, Kovalam is the paradise of the South, by all means. You might have seen, bathed in & surfed by a lot of beaches, but this beach will take your breath away. You might have hundred Kilometers of road on you, but this one will…

Coffee tales straight from Chikmagalur, Karnataka

Once upon a time, there was a country that drank tea. The country and its countrymen were happy sipping this sugar-laden beverage until one Baba Budan Giri decided to give Coffee to his country, and thus began the coffee journey of India. It’s being said that Baba Budan Giri brought Coffee seeds to India and…