South Asia


vakil mosque shiraz iran
My days of being a full-time wanderer, are behind me for now. Now that I am back in a corporate job, I try to find exciting vacations, while saving up for my next long travel. And one important factor when taking these vacations, is time. I do want to travel cheap, but I also want to maximise the time in any new place. So logically, the best option is to take a direct flight. Thus minimizing any transit time, and maximising your vacation period. Wondering where to go with an Indian passport? Click here to check out my list of […]

10 Direct flights from India, that you may not have known about!


seychelles islands 4
This is a list of countries that do not require a visa, or offer a visa on arrival for Indians. If you are looking for countries that offer electronic visas (E-visas), click this list. There are plenty of countries which do not require an advance visa for Indian citizens. And if you are an Indian – or if you have interacted with an Indian – the chances are likely that you will believe/hear the most commonly stated reason why Indians dont travel much. “I need a visa for every fricking country that I want to go to!” Click here for […]

Top 10 countries where Indians can travel without an advance visa!


Project365 ends today! 22
1st July 2015 – Mamallapuram, India The memories will remain etched for ever Of a year that went by in poetry and pics. But its not the places that will spring to mind. Its only – and always – the people who will stick. I thought this day would never come, but it’s day 365 today!   Its been 35 countries (and Kosovo), spread across 3 different continents. With 21 international flights, 23 international border crossings by land and couchsurfing in 20 countries. Riding a motorbike through 12000 km of the indian subcontinent, including the cold Himalayan roads of Nepal and […]

Project 365: Day 365 – That’s all, ladies and gentlemen!



Rock temples in Mamallapuram, India
30th June 2015 – Mamallapuram, India The quest is close, and one day remains Don’t judge me when I say I did nothing today. I’ve had a hell of a year, and survived it. I deserve rest in my own serene and calming way.   Maybe it was a good thing that my family visited me here.   I find myself relaxed, without any timelines to chase or to get back. So, I decided to stay one more day in Mamallapuram, and explore it a little bit with my folks. And it wasn’t so bad as I thought.   I may have […]

Project 365: Day 364 – The big day is tomorrow!


Mamallapuram, India 2
29th June 2015 – Mamallapuram, India The bullet finally saw some action. And a familiar town woke me up with a surfing beach. Familiarity and family have a similar ring, My ears are ready, for whatever it is they preach. The unthinkable does happen. Sometimes. I should have left from Mamallapuram to Chidambaram today. But a surprise call last evening from my parents, informing me that they might head here, put me off balance. I still wasn’t sure of it though.   I woke up in the morning and took the bullet outside for a short ride, looking for tea stalls to have […]

Project 365: Day 363 – Smiles abound in Mamallapuram


Mash restaurant in Chennai, India 1
28th June 2015 – Chennai, India I took the fight to the rain gods, and Came out winning, flashing a proud grin. They tried to keep me subdued, But today, I am not letting myself be pinned. Finally, I left Chennai today. But not too far, I only managed a mere 40 KMs before rain forced me to settle at Mamallapuram for the day.   But before all that happened, I stepped out for an early morning sunday breakfast at one of my favourite restaurants in Chennai. MASH is so awesome, that till date, it is one of only 3 restaurant reviews […]

Project 365: Day 362 – Till we meet again, Chennai



Rains in Chennai, India
27th June 2015 – Chennai, India There is one more adventure left for me. And I should head out soon to get into it. But the rain feels incessantly malicious today, I am going to bide my time, and just sit. I should be leaving Chennai already. The last part of my trip involved riding home to Kerala, from Chennai with my bike. But through the Southern coastal route, passing by Chidambaram, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, and Trivandrum. The only problem: I can’t get out of Chennai.   I should have left yesterday evening towards Mahabalipuram, but a freak rain had me grounded in the […]

Project 365: Day 361 – A rainy and lazy day in Chennai


Karl Schmiddt memorial at Elliot's beach, Chennai
26th June 2015 – Chennai, India Sunrises are totally my thing nowadays. And I go from beach to beach, looking for the best. Being back again in a beach where I found myself. Feels beyond good. Feels like I’ve earned my rest.   After hanging around the Marina beach area for 2 days in the morning recently, I needed to get back to one of my more favourite beaches.   Elliots beach in Besant Nagar, has to be the place where I have spent most of my early mornings in Chennai. In fact, there was a time during my employment days in […]

Project 365: Day 360 – To the memory of a Dutchman


Kollywood at Marina beach, Chennai 1
25th June 2015 – Chennai, India There was no glare of the soft box or reflectors Only the distant sight of a port city, and the rising sun. I have only watched the exaggeration on screen, But I find now that the background score is also fun.   With nothing else to do again, I stepped out Marina beach again today morning. The second time in 3 days. But I had an unexpected surprise in store today. A kollywood movie shooting.   Unlike what most of my non-Indian friends believe, India is not just Bollywood. Bollywood refers to the Hindi-language movie industry of […]

Project 365: Day 359 – Kollywood. Not Bollywood.



Santhome church in Chennai, India 5
24th June 2015 – Chennai, India Familiarity did breed contempt, thats for sure. Else how did I never check out such beautiful things? Like a forgotten teardrop on the chennai map, I finally heard the distant church bells ring. There is something very different about living in a country, and visiting there. When you live there, you are caught up in the pace of the city, and tend to ignore the beautiful things around you. But when you visit there, you are relaxed. You soak in more of the sights, you hear all the noises of the place, and you smell and feel every […]

Project 365: Day 358 – Catching up with St. Thomas


Marina beach at sunrise. Chennai, India.
23rd June 2015 – Chennai, India Home is near, I can almost smell the fish flavour And hear the sound of my mother, crying marriage. Fortunately, there are still a few sights along the way Until the destination, and the start of a new page.   I reached Chennai last evening, and went straight to bed. I wanted to count sheep, but instead counted all the countries in the last 12 months. After 3 continents, and 35 countries, I was back home.   Well, technically, not yet. Home is still 1400 KM away, tucked in the northern regions of Kerala. And it […]

Project 365: Day 357 – Mornings at Marina


Hula hoops in Unawatuna
22nd June 2015 – Unawatuna, Sri Lanka Midnight hula hoops stretched to early morning hours, And I passed out, on a familiar beige couch. Only to wake up and say goodbye to the world. It was short and sweet, but now I head to my homely pouch.     After all the surfing and the yoga shoots yesterday, the evening continued with a barbecue, as it always happens at hostel Unawatuna. Barbecues are a pretty regular thing here. All the people in the hostel pool up some money, go out and buy some meat, charcoal and booze. And then we barbecue it up. The last […]

Project 365: Day 356 – The world is not enough



Surfing at Unawatuna, Srilanka
21st June 2015 – Unawatuna, Sri Lanka The last ten days, have come knocking. “Who’s there?“. “A little bit of sanity“, it said. Because insanity drives us to do things And to see the world on our own head.   There is something crazy about Unawatuna. I can’t simply seem to get enough of it! Yesterday, after checking in, I met with my old friends, and also made some new friends in the hostel. There were a couple of guys from England, 2 girls from Ireland, and then 3 backpackers from Perth, Australia. (Sorry about all those Perth jokes, girls). We did […]

Project 365: Day 355 – Surfing or Yoga? Both!


fort station, colombo srilanka 1
20th June 2015 – Colombo, Sri Lanka A familiar fort called me back today. I loved the call, but hated the timing. At 4 am when Srilanka was snoring loud, I was eating fish buns and other snacks and things. Last night, I had taken an air-conditioned bus towards Colombo, from where I was to catch a morning train towards Unawatuna. The plan had a few holes. One, the air-conditioning kind of made me nauseous, to the point that i had to open the window to get some fresh air. And secondly, it was a bumpy road. Somehow, I managed to finally […]

Project 365: Day 354 – Ungodly hours at the fort


Ampara srilanka
19th June 2015 – Ampara, Sri Lanka Extreme sports are totally my thing. No wait. Take out the R there. I meant spots. And after a gruelling ride towards the east, I finally met a hammock. And the woes turned to naught.   I had previously visited the southernmost point of Srilanka, in Tangalle. And today, I had a chance to visit the Easternmost.   We rented a motorbike from the guesthouse we were staying in, and left towards Ampara. Sangaman kanda in Ampara district, just past Komari, is the easternmost point of the country. And it was just 20 KM […]

Project 365: Day 353 – Easternmost tip of Sri Lanka



Sunsets at Arugam bay, Sri Lanka 1
18th June 2015 – Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka Fatigue is like a surf break on the beach, You wait for it for hours, in the scorching sun. And when it finally hits you in all its glory, What follows is a  whole night of sleep, and a day of fun. After the lengthy journey yesterday, fatigue had hit us like a train wreck. And I slept almost till noon today.   At noon, me and Nicci stepped out of our resort to check out the local beach. Arugam bay is a popular surfing destination, and one of the reasons I had chosen to come […]

Project 365: Day 352 – Serenity and sunsets at Arugam bay


The view of the hills at Ella, Sri Lanka 1
17th June 2015 – Ella, Sri Lanka The journey of many miles, begins with a single step. Even if that step is placed in the middle of a muddled street. And the journey of the day may go on for hours, but it’s not too bad When a perfect view and a bumpy road, decide to meet. We left early in the morning. By early, I am talking about 5 AM early. And did not have the faintest clue that it would be 10 PM before we found a place to sleep.   There was a train booked from Colombo to […]

Project 365: Day 351 – Through Srilanka’s hill country


Absolut india in Colombo, Srilanka
16th June 2015 – Colombo, Sri Lanka Apart from the flashy cars that I clicked yesterday, The Duty free shop had also given me a bottle of joy. When colombo poured buckets, and there was nowhere to go, Mixing an Absolut vodka bottle with a resonator, was our best ploy. I reached Colombo in the morning, after some really horrible turbulence and some choppy winds. Both of which combined in very cosmic proportions to ensure that I did not get any sleep throughout the flydubai flight. After reaching the Bandaranaike airport, I took a bus and then a rickshaw – also called […]

Project 365: Day 350 – Absolut India, down in Colombo



Namrata Rai performing Kathak at Namaste India, in Bucharest, Romania
6th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania A mere 25 days waited in front of me, To find myself back in the warmth of home. But then, home found its own way to come to me. After all, home is wherever your heart decides to roam. I decided to go back to the Herastrau park again today. But not to enjoy the public domain, rather for 2 other reasons. One was to see the Dimitrie Gusti National village museum. Another was to get a little taste of home. And I found the perfect partner to go along with. Cristina Istrati was not only a published […]

Project 365: Day 340 – From Bucharest. Namaste India.


sharjah, uae, emirates, airport, travel, photography 1
21st January 2015 – Sharjah, UAE We build homes, buildings and offices so magnanimous, yet feel content, in a weird way, sleeping in an airport. That joy you feel, is called a satiated wanderlust. While the joy of a home is sublime, Today, its the nomad I court. I may complain about waiting and crappy airport services a lot, but the fact is: I love being in airports. There is something so nomadic about staying in an airport, that it even that tickles my wanderlust. Something like Tom Hank’s ‘Terminal’. I hope you read the sarcasm in my lines. Because I just […]

Project 365: Day 204 – Sleeping in Airports


koggala lake, sri lanka, travel, photography 1
20th January 2015 – Koggala, Sri Lanka My legs have become way too complacent, and there is a growing sense of restlessness, and the urge to move on to the next unknown. So, the bags are packed, and goodbye thrown around. And so, I am off. To my next calling. Another milestone. I guess it has been a really long love affair between me and Sri Lanka. But this has to end today. I went out for a little bit in the morning to Koggala lake, which is very close to Unawatuna, and ended up clicking some kids who were jumping […]

Project 365: Day 203 – Time to jump again



ahangama, stilt fishing, sri lanka, travel, photography 1
19th January 2015 – Ahangama, Sri Lanka When tourism replaced the ocean as the breadwinner, The stilt became an ornamentation. Not functional anymore. Amidst the cramming for the tourist dollar, much rampant. There was one solitary stilt fisherman. The one we heard from lore. One of the reasons that I came to the Southern part of Sri Lanka, and stayed so long here, was to see the legendary stilt fishermen. Steve McCurry had popularized Weligama with his photograph of the Sri Lankan fishermen. And since then, thousands of tourists have been flocking to the shores between Unawatuna and Weligama to take […]

Project 365: Day 202 – The stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka


hummanaya, tangalle, sri lanka, travel, photography 2
18th January 2015 – Tangalle, Sri Lanka The southernmost tip I touched, and the beautiful coast I strode, All in the search of a blowhole, on a cliff that faced the blue sea. There were no people, no tourists, and finally no blowholes too. There was just the ocean, some friends with popcorn, and then me. From Weligama I left to Tangalle today morning. Tangalle is the southernmost district of Sri Lanka, and I passed by the southernmost point of Sri Lanka on the way. Oh, I am back on a motorbike again. I rented one in Unawatuna for 700 Rupees […]

Project 365: Day 201 – Riding a motorbike. In another country.


Weligama, sri lanka, travel, photography 1
17th January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka From one beach, to another. The journey continues. Some shores are new to the eye. Some, way too familiar. The sea has a song that charms, then invites anyone, Who has heard it before, to come back and once again, overhear. It’s 200 days with a backpack now. Momentous moment, and I am celebrating it back in familiar shores. Last night, I had stayed at the Unawatuna hostel again. But this time, I’ve decided to party less and travel around more. So, I left to Weligama again. I’ve been here before,  and I like the […]

Project 365: Day 200 – Familiar shores