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Photo Essay – Celebrating World Heritage Day with 10 Heritage Monuments from India

18 Apr

Today and on the 18th April of every year , ICOMOS i.e. International Council on Monuments and Sites celebrates the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”. The aim of the International Day is to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to recognize the importance of cultural heritage in their lives, identities and communities, and to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it. And I thought what better way to celebrate it on my blog than with a photo essay on 10 of my favorite heritage monuments and sites that I have been lucky enough to visit recently. I am limiting myself to 10, as I can go on and on with these pictures and the post can be never ending.

1. The Mumbai CST Station and the heritage walk on DN Road –

Mumbai CST Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Mumbai CST Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra

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Photographing my way through Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market) in Mumbai

19 Feb

Mumbai has some interesting and unique nooks & corners, one of them being our local Chor Bazaar. “Chor” in Hindi means “thieves” and “Bazaar” means a “market”, hence literally translated “Chor Bazaar” means “Thieves Market”. Per Wikipedia this market is one of the largest flea markets in India and has a fascinating history. Apparently this market was originally called Shor Bazaar, meaning “noisy market”, but with British mispronunciation “shor” became “chor” and the name stuck. Eventually stolen goods started finding their way here and hence this market started living upto its name. These days Chor Bazaar is famous for all kinds of antique / vintage products and other interesting things ranging from clocks, all kinds of instruments, furniture, glassware, brassware, lamps, ceramics, Bollywood posters, ceramics, coins, miniature cars, etc etc. Basically its possible to find anything here from cute to bizarre to the regular. 🙂

All kinds of knick knacks

All kinds of knick knacks

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A walk down the heritage lane in Mumbai

20 Jan

As part of my “Mumbai Local” series, I am always on a look-out for Mumbai’s hidden nooks and corners, often the non-touristy parts of the city which we as residents either take for granted or don’t notice while going about our everyday lives. Recently I came across Raconteur Walks, a group of Mumbai enthusiasts who organize theme based walking tours around Mumbai and show people a new side of this city, that we call home.

The iconic VT Station, Mumbai

The iconic VT Station, Mumbai

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Community

15 Dec

This week’s photo challenge is to post a pic on “Community” which means a social unit of any size that shares a common belief or values. Per wikipedia, the word “community” is derived from an Old French word – communité which is derived from the Latin communitas that means – com, “with/together” + munus, “gift”, a broad term for fellowship or organized society. And for this challenge the Mumbaiker in me had to post a pic of the Ganesh Festival that binds entire Mumbai into one large community.

Bringing Lord Ganesh to the pandal for the festival

Bringing Lord Ganesh to the pandal for the festival

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Our Irani Cafe Walk has been featured in DNA Downtown Edition today

29 Nov

I am on cloud 9 today and extremely excited to share with you all, that our Irani Cafe walk (which many of you may have followed on Facebook and Twitter on November 17) has been featured in today’s DNA Mumbai Downtown Edition, in an article titled “Old World Charm and Irani Cafes”.

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The Article

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With Foodpanda – Delicious Food is just a click away

16 Nov
Foodpanda

Foodpanda

Food 🙂  Mere mention of this word and there is a smile on my face and thoughts of tasty food on my mind. Hence it’s no surprise when I say that I am a total foodie and love my eating out time, especially for lunch. But sadly I work in a part of Mumbai where for some reason there is a serious dearth of eating options. And during one such frustrating search for neighborhood food options, I found an interesting website called Foodpanda.

Foodpanda is an online food ordering website that you can visit and order food and beverages in a few simple steps. Once you visit their website all you need to do type in your city, then your area and then a subarea – and lo and behold it shows you numerous options from where you can order. The website has tie-ups with all major restaurants in the city and across cuisines too. It also shows the online menu of the restaurant and the minimum order that needs to be placed for delivery.

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The Insectivorous Flowers of Kaas

8 Nov

My visit to Kaas had everything that a good trip should have – I saw a surreal land, some beautiful and unique flowers, ticked another to do place from my list, met some amazing people and saw my first 2 varieties of insectivorous flowers. As a kid I had always read about insectivorous flowers but had never seen one and was always fascinated by them. In fact when I finally did see them in Kaas, I just couldn’t believe that these seemingly innocent flowers can actually trap an insect and eat it. Since seeing these flowers was an important part of  my list, I kept this topic for my last post on Kaas.

Utricularia / Seeta's Tears, Kaas

Utricularia / Seeta’s Tears, Kaas

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Photo Essay – 10 colors and flowers of Kaas

4 Nov

Its Diwali time and for me somehow Diwali celebrations are always associated with colors – colorful clothes, crackers, lights, decorations, rangoli, sweets, etc etc. There is a riot of colors in pretty much everything around and as far as the eye can see. Though I missed taking my camera out this year to capture the Diwali celebrations (have been busy with quite a few things of late), I still wanted to post something as colorful on the blog today. And then I thought to myself, what better way to post on colors than 10 different flowers of Kaas in 10 different colors and shades. So do read on and share some of the colors of Kaas via its unique flowers.

  • Elephant’s Trunk – This flower has 2  pinkish violet vertical petals, two horizontal petals and one moon shaped one in the centre that s rolled to form a tunnel. As an insect lands on the central petal, its weight draws out trunk like organ from the tunnel and this organ sprays pollen all over the insect.
Elephant's Trunk, Kaas

Elephant’s Trunk, Kaas

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A Quick Travel Guide for planning a trip to Kaas, Satara

3 Nov

Kaas is Western’s Ghat’s smaller and cheat’s answer to visit and experience a Valley of Flowers. There are no arduous treks or long journeys involved and all you need to do is just undertake a long drive.  While I haven’t seen the actual Valley of Flowers in Uttaranchal, I got a chance to visit Kaas in September this year and loved every thing about this beautiful plateau.  Kaas comes alive during monsoons with numerous flowers flowering in a riot of colors, such that it gives an impression of being amidst multi colored bands. There are all kinds of flowers here, including some endemic, some rare and some insectivorous too. Along with flowers, there are other smaller life forms that are found around here such as birds, bees, beetles, etc. Overall a must visit for every nature lover.

Colors of Kaas

Colors of Kaas

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The Hostage Taking Flower – Ceropegia

11 Oct

Nature never ceases to amaze me. It is everything – imaginative, creative, adaptable, beautiful, unique but most of all it’s always full of surprises. Whenever I think I have seen the best of it, it springs another amazing sight at me. The latest was the hostage taking flowers of Ceropegia in Kaas. As a botany student in school, I had learnt about numerous ways that plants employ for pollination, with the main method being via pollinating agents. And the best pollinating agents are insects. Hence it’s not surprising that various plants have devised various techniques to attract these insects through – color, scent, stench and designs. But the hostage taking flowers are unique. These flowers take insects as hostage and only release them once pollination and fertilization is complete.

Ceropegia vincaefolia, Kaas

Ceropegia vincaefolia, Kaas

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