Day 12: Puducherry

Day 12: PuducherryPondicherry, India Pondicherry, India Early morning, we explore the local temple complex further, away from the group and crowds, bar friendly groups of scarlet-dressed Indian pilgrims. The Varaha cave contains vivid carvings of battle including Vishnu in his boar-headed guise as Varaha. Other temples, such as the Rayar Gopuram appear incomplete, possibly due… Continue reading Day 12: Puducherry

Day 10: Mysore

Day 10: MysoreMysore, India Mysore, India An hour drive past fields of rice and sugar cane takes us to the site of the ancient temple complex of Somanathpur, somewhere I am eagerly looking forward to seeing. But, due to local disagreements with the national archaeological survey, the villagers have locked the gates to visitors. Charles,… Continue reading Day 10: Mysore

Day 9: Mudumalai to Mysore

Day 9: Mudumalai to MysoreMysore, India Mysore, India An early-morning, guided birdwatching walk around the grounds delivers some highly coloured species, including the Asian fairy bluebird, orioles, magpie robins, flycatchers, common mynah, tiny green warblers, treepies, butcher birds, drongos, coppersmith barbets, and one rare glimpse that delighted Rajkumar, our guide, a Malabar barbet. A nocturnal… Continue reading Day 9: Mudumalai to Mysore

Day 7: Ooty

Day 7: OotyOotacamund, India Ootacamund, India We get up early to see Ooty wake up. Most shop shutters are down at 7am but some stalls are offering chai and instant coffee. The Hindu temple is noisy and busy with visitors. Ooty is a popular holiday destination for honeymooners. Many shops sell chocolates as gifts, plus… Continue reading Day 7: Ooty

Day 6: Ooty

Day 6: OotyUdhagamandalam, India Udhagamandalam, India All aboard the 9.10 Superfast express from Ernakulam to Bangalore. We’re in one of the air-conditioned carriages of the 21-coach train, which gets so chilly a jumper is needed. The carriage is regularly visited by food sellers offering masala chai, coffee, vada (deep-fried lentil patties), doughnuts and banana fritters.… Continue reading Day 6: Ooty