A ‘Western’ Surprise!

Film History Museum, Lone Pine, California.

Westerns – we all know of them as movies of the American Old West with all that swag! But driving cross country on a trip to see the Californian National Parks, a Western was the last thing on our minds. 

It was just after dusk when we entered the small town of Lone Pine, 3.5 hours drove from LA and 93 miles from America’s beautiful Death Valley National Park. We were shaken with the cold weather and stirred by the joy of being so close to a destination that topped our bucket list, and were gearing to visit it first thing the next morning. Knowing little that there was a charming little museum of Western Film History right in our backyard. As the server in the diner mentioned the museum, we could suddenly hear Ennio Morricone’s everlasting theme of The Good, Bad and Ugly ring in our ears, remembering Heston’s sassy one liners, the cowboy hats and the whistles. Now our hearts were pounding with excitement as though we discovered a little gem. Well, what do you expect from filmmakers anyway ? 

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Hampi : What To Do Apart From The Monuments

Tungabhadra River

Somewhere around the 14th Century AD, a major city arose on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka. Pampa Kshetra, Kinshkinda Kshetra or Bhaskara Kshetra, this city is also known as Hampi. Spread over some 16 square miles, Hampi has some excellent ancient monuments, as we experienced. However, apart from the monuments, Hampi has … Read more

Hampi : The Third Day

Entering Vittala Temple

On the third day at Hampi, after having explored the heritage Vijayanagar Empire Hampi monuments here and some more amazing Hampi monuments, we went towards the Vitthala Temple. It is the largest of the Hampi monuments, but unclear who built it. Inscriptions has multiple male and female names. The large Ranga Mandapa of the Vitthala … Read more

Hampi : Exploring More Monuments

There is so much to see and absorb in Hampi, one definitely needs about 4 days here. Spread over a 16 square miles, this UNESCO World Heritage site has “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others” (from Wikipedia), and is one of the largest … Read more

Hampi : Glory Of The Vijayayanagar Empire

Lakshmi Narasimha temple Hampi

I never thought there could be an archaeological site as vast and neat/clean as Hampi. From most of our travels, such sites are limited to tiny areas in congested villages or towns. Hampi is anything but that. The name Hampi comes from Pampa, another name for Goddess Parvati. Hampi is also known as Pampa Kshetra, … Read more

Khem Villas : A Luxury Stay In Ranthambhore

For us, forests are not just about sighting tigers. They are also about the beautiful trees, the grasses, the birds, the reptiles, other mammals… and of course being in touch with the forest itself. Not many places allow this, while giving you the comfort and good food you need. Khem Villas in Ranthambhore National Park … Read more

Narrow Gauge Inn : Where To Stay In Yosemite

Perhaps one of the world’s best known Parks, Yosemite National Park is part of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Range in California. A visit to this natural preserve is highly recommended. And like any other travel, where you accomodation is crucial. So here is our little guide on where to stay while visiting Yosemite National Park.

The best place to stay, if you want to experience the Park from up-close, morning till next morning, is of course inside the park. Inside Yosemite are 13 campgrounds, some are reservable in advance, some available on a first come first served basis.

For a premium luxury stay, try The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, built in a building from the 1920s. Then there is the Yosemite Valley Lodge (near Yosemite Falls), The Big Tree Lodge sporting authentic Victorian architecture with charming verandahs and lush environs, White Wolf Lodge which is a rustic central lodge along with canvas tents set in a wildlfower field but 30 miles from Yosemite Valley, the canvas tent cabins at Half Dome Village, Housekeeping Camp (three sided concrete walls, canvas roof and privacy curtain), Glacier Point Ski Huts, Tuolumne Meadows tent cabins, High Sierra Camps, and 13 other sites with campgrounds and RV parking. These can all be accessed via the National Park Service website. Be sure to check weather reports before travelling and book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

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Visiting Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Thanks to the screening of our film ‘Bachelor Girls’ in San Francisco and Oakland, we were traveling in California. And no trip to California is complete without visiting its fabulous outdoors with Yosemite National Park on top on our list. Yosemite National Park lies in the Western part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the … Read more

Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco : Still Vibrant, Still Mesmerising, Still Love

Haight – Ashbury was the epicenter of the 1967 Summer Of Love, a large movement in which more than 100,000 people, mostly young, sporting ‘hippie’ costumes and hairdos, converged here. Also known as Hashbury, this area became the centre of the alternative culture, where people rejected materialism, were suspicious of the government, did not support … Read more