• Travel Review

    Sankagiri Fort in Erode, Tamil Nadu

    Today I felt wonderful as if I have accomplished something significant – feeling this way after a long time. This was after I completed the trek/climb to the top of the Sankagiri Fort in Salem District. It took me about 75 minutes to reach the top – a height of 2300 feet.  Since it is a pandemic out there, and we had gone on an afternoon on a weekday I saw only a few others inside the fort – a group of young college students, a couple and a solo traveller. The fort is open for all and has no entry fee, which translates to having no security guards around…

  • Restaurant Review,  Travel Review

    Highway Vegetarian Restaurants from Chennai to Salem

    Today I travelled with a friend to Salem for a few days trip, we wanted to visit Gingee Fort ( செங்கிக் கோட்டை) on the way, so we opted for GST Road towards Ulundurpet, instead of the Bengaluru Highway via Krishnagiri. This post is about the few restaurants where we had food during the trip. Highway public facilities in India are better in recent years During my childhood days, travelling long distances by road meant preparing food in advance, packing them in banana leaves, and stopping under the shade of highway trees with mats spread out for the meal.  The food had to remain good for many hours even during the…

  • Travel Review

    Gingee Fort or Senji Fort in Tamil Nadu

    Though it is only 150 kilometres from my city, Chennai, I have never visited Gingee fort aka Senji fort (செங்கிக் கோட்டை). Today I got the chance during a trip this week with a friend to Salem for a few days. We opted to travel by the GST Road towards Ulundurpet, instead of the Bengaluru Highway via Krishnagiri. We started from Chennai at 8 AM and reached Gingee town in three hours (at 11 AM). To the west of Gingee town is Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu at 30 km, and the same distance to the east is Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu. History of Gingee aka Senji Fort: Wikipedia says Gingee fort was ranked…

  • Lounge

    My failed visit to Paris in 2016 and Schengen VISA

    Today I started re-reading Ms Pallavi Aiyer’s book on Europe “Punjabi Parmesan”. She starts by sharing her anxiety and feeling of being treated second-class as she waits with a blue passport (Indian) in the queue at immigration in Brussels while her Spanish husband and baby boy sailing through the area with their maroon (Spain) passports. This reminded me of one of the many incidents I have had with applying for VISA or the experiences I have faced at the immigration counters in a foreign airport. The below incident happened to me in 2016, for that year’s summer vacation, my wife & I decided to go to the beautiful city of…

  • Speeches,  Travel Review

    The art of slow travel

    This year-end many of us have cancelled our vacation travels. Let me help you. Join me in this 30-minute talk on “SLOW TRAVEL”. I believe, when you (are finally able to) travel it is important to be comfortable, observe the places, stop and smell the roses on the way. Then take a few good pictures for memory and to enjoy the local food and culture. I call this as “Lazy Travel”. It is about not hurrying to finish the items in your checklist, certainly not about camping or long stays, but to plan for spending reasonable time to do justice to a place that you are going. Let me know…