Motorcycle Diaries: Offbeat Vietnam

Starting from bustling Ho Chi Minh City in the South to riding through the Vietnamese countryside with gorgeous landscapes of the Central highlands and paddy fields, rivers and emerald lakes, cruising through the misty cloud covered hills at Hai Van pass to the historic UNESCO cities of Hoi An & Hue in Central Vietnam, with excellent roads & amenities, delicious flavorful food, fresh Ca-Phe (coffee) and friendly Vietnamese people, it was an awesome experience to ride through half of Vietnam and experience the local way of life. The thrill of riding a motorbike and the freedom of going anywhere, was a dream realized… leaving me with yet another reverie, of the higher mountains of North Vietnam!

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Rustic Kalaw, Myanmar

Surrounded by the misty blue Shan hills, Kalaw is a great place to relax, enjoy the view, other than cycling around exploring the town, to nearby monasteries, pagodas & the market. With beautiful views of the surrounding hills, it’s quite rewarding to spend time at the Buddhist monastery and see the daily life of young Buddhist monks who call it home.

Lotus weavers of Inle Lake, Myanmar

The most exceptional thing about the Intha people is the magic they weave with lotus fibers – Lotus textiles! A Buddhist symbol for purity the lotus flower is sacred in Buddhism and the textiles were first made for a Buddhist monk’s robe.

Magical Myanmar – Instagrammed

Did you know the Burmese use tea leaves as a food ingredient? Other than  brewing a tea, the leaves are fermented to make a special Burmese tea-leaf salad and its yum! Myanmar offered a varied set of experiences from historic temples to nature hikes in the hills and boat rides exploring life on a lake, but it was the delicious Burmese food, readily available salads (and avocado!) and the people who stole my heart!

Kumortuli: Where Goddesses are made

On the banks of Hooghly, in North Kolkata is a labyrinth of narrow lanes, older than the city and full of vibrant color and art, Kumortuli – the potter’s colony, where idols of Gods and Goddesses are made from scratch for the Hindu festival of Durga Puja. Various artists work on different stages of sculpting, painting & decorating the idol of Goddess Durga in the workshops here. Deeply engrossed in the making of the Goddess, they look meditative.

Charang Monastery: The most Holy temple of Kinnaur

Charang is a delightful little village near the Indo-Tibet border in Kinnaur – the less explored & non-touristy part of Himachal Pradesh in India. The Kinner Kailash Parikrama is considered incomplete without receiving blessings at the ancient 11th century Charang monastery also called the Rangrik Shungma – the most holy temple of Kinnaur.

Arunachal Pradesh: Land of the dawn-lit mountains

Two memorable weeks in the most remote parts of Arunachal Pradesh – Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains in North East India. Turquoise Lohit river flowing in all its glory, to the misty blue mountains of Walong in the Eastern Himalayas, wild jungles of Namdapha, tea gardens of Wakro, lush green rice fields of Miao, handmade bamboo houses on stilts, hanging bridges, cheerful happy people with a taste in music and the brilliant way locals sustain themselves on nature, liters of beer, bonfires and lots of memories…

Ladakh Blues – Enchanting Lakes of Ladakh

Countless shades of blue change with the falling light, turquoise blue waters merge into cobalt blue cloudless skies, reflecting in the ripples of water with a mosaic of colorful stones shining underneath; the Ladakh Blues!

Delightful Charang

Kinnaur is the most beautiful and least explored part of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. Surrounded by harsh mountains, Charang Khas, a pretty little village at an altitude of 3500 meters in Morang, Kinnaur, is accessible only by foot, a trek through Thangi and Lambar.

Eternal Varanasi

River Ganges is the soul of Varanasi. The Ganges rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and is the longest river of India as well as the second greatest river in the world by water discharge. In Hinduism, river Ganges is considered sacred and personified as goddess Ganga. A boat ride over river Ganges at sunrise is the best way to experience the ghats.

Smiling faces of Ladakh

Mountains, monasteries, monks, memories…the magic of Ladakh! It’s difficult to take a bad photograph in a place like Ladakh. The light is so ethereal like in some dreams, and it’s not just the landscapes that are so hauntingly beautiful, but also the people of Ladakh who are always smiling 🙂 The smiles that tell the…

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

A landscape looks great in a ‘landscape’ or Horizontal format but sometimes looks much more interesting in a vertical or ‘portrait’ format. Here are a series of landscapes of River Yamuna shot from the new Naini bridge in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, in horizontal and vertical format for the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways. And some useful…

Untouched Kinnaur: Rusklang village, Ropa valley, Himachal

Kinnaur in northeast Himachal, surrounded by Tibet in the east, is the least explored and the second least populous district, after Lahaul & Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh, India. The old Hindustan-Tibet road, the ancient Silk Route, passes through Kinnaur along the banks of Sutlej River. Kinnaur Kailash is a peak (6500 meters) in Kinnaur, considered the…

Pushkar Fair Part 2: World’s largest camel fair

The Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Mela is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair held in the small town of Pushkar. It’s a spectacle on an epic scale, where traditions and spirituality meet and one can experience the culture and grandeur of Rajasthan. Pushkar fair runs for five days and is one of the largest in…

Pushkar Fair Part 1: The colorful rural life

The Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Mela is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair held in Pushkar. It’s a spectacle on an epic scale and an unforgettable experience capturing vibrant Rajasthan and it’s people in all its grandeur. The small town of Pushkar in Rajasthan comes alive during the Pushkar mela as people from all over the world come…

Reminiscing Kedarnath

It’s heart wrenching to see the destruction and loss of life caused by the flash floods at Uttrakhand and Himachal recently. It’s sad to see the town of Kedarnath now, which is one of the most affected. Here’s a link to find missing people from Google people finder. Kedarnath in the Himalayas in Uttrakhand, at…

Enchanting streets of Pushkar

There is nothing like a walk on the street to experience the mood, culture and lifestyle of a place. And Pushkar is a town which is best seen on foot. It’s quite small and can be covered with in a few hours. The colorful little shops & cafes look fascinating against the backdrop of old buildings decorated with street art. The fresh…

Pushkar Instagrammed!

Pushkar is a visual treat for anyone interested in images of India. Specially during the Pushkar mela (festival) colours, textures & the mood are so unique and interesting that you wouldn’t want to stop taking pictures! Some images of Pushkar through the filters of Instagram. More of my Instagrams.

Timeless Pushkar in Color

Pushkar, a small peaceful lake city in Rajasthan, is one of the oldest existing cities in India. The colorful culture & vibrance is what got me interested in Pushkar and during the Pushkar fair there is a burst of color & activity all around, it’s a visual treat! I loved the place and found its…

Faces of India

“I would rather that my life remain a tear and a smile. A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence. “ From A tear and a smile by Khalil Gibran. Life is beautiful because of the deep and intense emotions we feel,…

Weekly Photo Challenge : Color

This week’s photo challenge is on COLOR. I love color and enjoy playing with it in my daily work, life & therapy. My interest in color brought about the name of my blog, Color odyssey – my adventures & experiences with color. I hope you enjoy this vibrant journey through MY lens 🙂 Colors of…

Food Photography: Coffee

I’ve been working on some product food photography. Sharing some photos of roasted coffee beans and coffee that I shot recently. I started learning photography when film cameras were still being manufactured, and have some un-developed films lying in a box since years! While searching for ‘35mm negative film developing’ on the net, I accidentally came…

Bukit Brown Cemetery: A piece of Singapore’s history and heritage

In the midst of clean urban architecture and the beautifully maintained gardens of Singapore, one doesn’t expect to find any place that is totally wild, unkempt and peaceful. And yet such a place exists, right at the center of Singapore! Bukit Brown cemetery, in the heart of Singapore is an abandoned Chinese cemetery where the…

A morning walk in Little India, Singapore

Little India is a hub for the Indian community in Singapore. It’s one of the most interesting places for day & night photography in Singapore, and is best explored on foot. The narrow lanes are full of color and action all day, and the 24-hour Mustafa shopping complex keeps the streets busy at night. It’s usually quite…