All posts filed under: Photo Essays

Lakshman Sagar: Add it to Your Rajasthan Bucket List!

Why you should be dreaming about Lakshman Sagar Rajasthan. Over the years, I’ve travelled to and stayed in many amazing places, in many countries across the globe. Even with such high expectations, sometimes a place comes along that completely takes me by surprise. A place that makes me appreciate my life as a travel blogger. A place that I know I won’t forget for a long time. Lakshman Sagar, in the Pali district of Rajasthan, was one such place. Once a 19th century hunting lodge on the banks of a lake (sagar), it has been transformed by a visionary man into the most gorgeous expression of eco-friendly luxury. I’m going to let these pictures speak their thousand words about Lakshman Sagar Rajasthan: The “0 KM” Concept at Lakshman Sagar Rajasthan It implies that everything used to design the rooms has been sourced naturally or locally (from nearby villages). This is the living area of my room, with a chimney in the left corner, and so many colorful and innovative little touches to marvel at. Lounging …

A Visual Journey of Chasing Monsoon in Jaisalmer.

Ready for the magic of monsoon in Jaisalmer? I’m no monsoon chaser. In fact, I’ve spent most monsoons running away from the rains. But when the luxury boutique hotel Suryagarh Jaisalmer invited me for a bloggers’ getaway in the Thar desert, to experience the magic of monsoon in Jaisalmer, I got curious. I had never, until then, imagined that the vast wilderness of the Thar Desert could be covered in green pastures and small oases. Or that the clear blue desert sky could be engulfed with grey clouds on a terrain so flat, you could literally see them burst into rain at the far end of the desert. Monsoon in Jaisalmer was magical alright, but you shouldn’t believe me until you get a glimpse yourself: ARRIVING IN THE OLD FASHIONED LUXURY OF SURYAGARH  A unique resort built in the style of a Rajasthan fort. A warm welcome by musicians of the Manganiyar tribe, who tug at your heart with the tunes of the desert. === STUMBLING UPON A TYPICAL DESERT SCENE during monsoon in Jaisalmer; a young boy …

A Visual Journey Through Bhap Village, Rajasthan.

Explore Bhap Rajasthan (in Phalodi Rajasthan) through my lens. Late last year, I visited Bhap village, near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Despite being one of India’s most travelled states, Rajasthan harbors secrets that take long to find, and even longer to forget. Bhap Rajasthan, surrounded by a serene village lake, gorgeous salt pans, massive sand dunes, and friendly people, is one such secret. This photo essay is a collection of fond memories from the days I spent there: *** SOAKING IN THE SERENITY OF PHALODI RAJASTHAN LAKES in Bhap village. Bhap itself is a typical Indian village with no proper sewage or drainage system, but after a disheartening walk through its narrow by-lanes, arriving on the pristine shores of this village lake is nothing short of amazing. Across the lake, we could spot several herds of camels trotting along in the desert. *** LAUGHING WITH VILLAGE KIDS NEAR BHAP RAJASTHAN in a village where Dalit families are still discriminated against and not allowed to visit the village temple. The smiles of these Dalit children give hope …

In Photos: Chugging up Sri Lanka’s Hill Country.

Earlier this week, we boarded the blue train from Kandy towards Ella, hoping for some respite from the rain that had enveloped Kandy. Little did I know then that thanks to the rain, we were going to witness one of the most spectacular train journeys I’ve done in all of Asia. We chugged up the hill country of Sri Lanka, winding along tea plantations, forests, waterfalls, streams, rivers, sleepy villages, and mountain tunnels. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.

12 Reasons to Love Jasper.

On the second stop of my cross-Canada trip, I found myself in the vast wilderness of Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. I swam in the frigid Fraser River, walked on the ancient Athabasca glacier, took a cruise to Spirit Island on Maligne Lake, and spent many an hour reading Murakami in the backdrop of the snow-clad Rocky mountains. On a misty morning in Jasper, the title of the book I’ll pen someday, occurred to me. So I have to share with you, just what made me fall in love with Jasper. *** 1. In the lap of the Rockies, a quaint little town Lakes and forests in its midst, snow on its crown. Everyone knows everyone else, it’s true But you’ll never have to walk too far for solitude. The elk graze by the road, the moose stay close You’ll hold your breath as the black bears pose. Upon the lakes, the clouds descend As though they are greetings the heavens send… That on Maligne Lake when you take a cruise Spirit Island shall become …

A Visual Journey in Sangla Valley, Kinnaur.

One of my most stunning journeys in the lower Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh was through the Sangla Valley of Kinnaur. All along gushes the mighty Baspa River. Home to postcard mountain villages with wooden huts. Sparse population, incredible landscapes, a feeling that you’ve arrived at the end of the world. In the Sangla Valley lie Rakcham and Chitkul – the last village of India before Tibet. I’ll let these photos, taken during my trip to Kinnaur, speak their thousand words. THE DRAMATIC LANDSCAPE OF RAKCHAM VILLAGE through which gushes the Baspa River. On the left lies the Sangla Valley, and on the right, the Baspa Valley. A rickety river bridge connects the two. LIFE IN THE HIMALAYAN VILLAGES OF SANGLA VALLEY is slow and beautiful. Rakcham village mostly consists of mountain shepherds and farmers. Rakcham is known for the highest quality potatoes and vegetables in India. THE WOODEN HUTS OF RAKCHAM complement the village’s idyllic landscape. Surrounded by potato fields, pine forests and the dramatic rise and fall of the peaks of the Himalayas. ON THE …

Brahmaputra river bridges, Majuli Assam, Majuli photos

In Photos: Majuli Island, Assam.

Possibly the most beautiful place I’ve travelled to in India, Majuli is the largest river island in the Brahmaputra River, and in the world.  Accessible via Jorhat in Assam by a public ferry, it has an almost surreal, magical old world charm; we intended to stay here two days, but ended up staying six, and can’t wait to go back. Why? See for yourself. *** 1. CYCLING ON MAJULI ISLAND along rolling meadows, often interspersed with rice paddies and glimpses of the river. === 2. FINDING VILLAGES IN ASSAM that once lived remotely across a tributary of the Brahmaputra River. Now that the river bed has completely dried up, they have access to the relatively more developed mainland of Majuli Island. They still run on solar power though, with mainstream electricity only a distant promise by the government. === 3. BIRDWATCHING BY THE BRAHMAPUTRA RIVER where flocks of birds live by the river, sunbathe on the green pastures, and chill with the grazing cows and goats. === 4. GETTING LOST IN THE WILDERNESS  of Majuli, …

Madrid best things to do, Madrid attractions

Te Quiero Madrid: A Photo Essay.

I’m not a big fan of cities, but Madrid was almost love at first sight. Maybe because it was just the start of spring, or maybe because the city is just that beautiful! I spent most of my time by the River Manzanares in Madrid, strolling along the parks and squares of Madrid, exploring Madrid’s markets and cafes, and discovering its quirky neighborhoods. In this photo essay, I share a roundup of some of the best unusual things to see and do in Madrid, including local hangouts and relatively secret places, that are sure to make you fall in love with this Spanish city too. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.

Bahrain photos, Bahrain photo gallery

Life in Bahrain: A Photo Essay.

Ahlan wa sahlan. That was one of the first phrases I learnt in Arabic, almost five years ago. I’ve lost touch with whatever little of this beautiful language I learnt, but that phrase has stuck with me. It is an old Arabic phrase that means, we welcome you. I landed in Bahrain without many expectations; a small city-state that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, one that not many people travel to outside of business needs. At the airport, I could hear as much Hindi as Arabic, and I didn’t realize then that with the Bahraini stamp on my passport, I was being welcomed as much into the hearts, homes, and lives of the Bahraini people, as I was into the borders of (evidently) the most liberal country in the Gulf region. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative …

2012: Through My Lens.

It feels like yesterday when I was waltzing down the quiet beaches of Diu on India’s west coast, and sipping tea at a blacksmith’s workshop in Turkey. 2012 has been the kind of year I dreamed about everyday, before I bade goodbye to my life in the cubicle. I feel as though I’ve come of age as a travel writer this year, having written for publications like Lonely Planet and The Times of India, and having found gratification in press invites from the likes of Spain Tourism Board and Turkish Airlines. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes in the transformative power of travel.