A Road Trip to Hampi, A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, say that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins.

Located in Karnataka near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi’s ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others

We decided to drive from Bangalore and it was a 5 hours drive with good roads. Just casual travellers, we couldn’t have to spend the required time to enjoy and feel the history. But what we could lay our eyes on were fabulous, matching those we see in ancient excavations in Greece, Rome, Turkey etc.

Those specials clearly striking were the music producing stone pillars, stone carvings with several animals carved on a single stone, designer ‘queens bath’ with symmetrical steps etc.

And one gets to stay at what I described in the earlier blog ‘the paradise on earth’ the Evolve Back Resort.

A must visit place for those interested in history, archeology, architecture and heritage.

(Many of the details are care of Wikipedia. Please read there for further information).

A Road Trip to Hampi, A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Book Blitz – Lockdown Innit- Poems About Absurdity by Marjorie Mallon.

I am doing a Book Blitz for the book ‘Lockdown Innit – Poems About Absurdity’ by author Marjorie Mallon, thanks to Shalini and her Digital Reads Blog Tour.

BLURB
Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!
AUTHOR BIO
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!
On the 17th of November I was born, in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit.) My early childhood was spent in Hong Kong. During my teen years, my parents returned to my father’s birthplace, Edinburgh, where I spent many happy years. As a teenager, I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters have almost flown the nest, but often return with a cheery smile to greet me.
During the day, I work in an international sixth form with students from around the world. I’m the meet and greet lady who welcomes them to their new college and issues them with late slips when they don’t get to their lessons on time!
I write YA fantasy, paranormal, horror/supernatural short stories, flash fiction and short form poetry. More recently, I have produced and compiled an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown. Following on from this, in February 2021 I will be releasing Lockdown Innit, poems about absurdity.
I’ve been blogging for many moons at my blog home Kyrosmagica, which means Crystal Magic. From time to time I write articles celebrating the spiritual realm, inspiration and my love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.
My eclectic blog shares my three loves: reading, writing, and creativity. I adore reading and have written over 150 reviews on my blog: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/
AUTHOR SOCIAL MEDIA DETAILS
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.comAuthors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4LTwitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

BOOK LINKS
Kindle Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VW81Q53/
Kindle Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VW81Q53/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56949934-lockdown-innit
Universal link for kindle: https://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Book Blitz – Lockdown Innit- Poems About Absurdity by Marjorie Mallon.

Evolve Back Humpi! A Super Resort and A Gentle Holiday.

Splendid is what I have to say about our stay in the lovely resort ‘Evolve Back’ in Humpi, Karnataka.

A visit to the ruins of the fabulous kingdom of Vijayanagara famous for the magnificence and architectural splendour and which had over 25,000 horses and 50,000 elephants, was overdue.

It’s 5 hours drive from Bangalore and a comfortable stay was needed and friends recommended resort Evolve Back.

Reviews and pictures were fascinating. And my wife picked up a 1100 sq ft accommodation.

Frankly I am not too worried about the size of the room. During my working life in Bombay, our family of four were living in a 900 sq ft apartment. And in a 8000 sq. ft house while working in Philippines.

Also, while doing a program in INSEAD France, the visiting Harvard professor took us to ‘Formula One’ accommodations priced at Euro 9.99. The concept was that a bed with clean linen and bathroom are all what is required for a traveller.

Holiday is different, but still 1100 sq ft is luxury. Imagine then to be told at check in that we were upgraded to 2600 square feet Jal Mahal suites with a private pool. Sublime!

The resort is just amazing, simply out of the world. It’s built, taking into account the opulence of the mighty Vijayanagara kingdom, the architecture and stone paved roads and the water bodies making it a wonderfully beautiful palace.

The trip was to see the ruins of the kingdom, but we were enjoying and living the royal experience inside resort, with the result we spent an entire day doing nothing, but absorbing the beauty, elegance, comfort, food and the outstanding experience of interacting with the well trained, polite, friendly and pleasing staff.

Everyone from the General Manager to those important service staff were eager to enquire our welfare and made us feel really valuable.

We even had a service personnel an angelic, smart and sweet young lady Miss Yashashri Bhaje assigned as a single point of contact so that we never felt any difficulty in getting anything. She’s immaculate.

The good old Ambassodor car-made convertible, the traveling flute artist whose melodies were heard from anywhere, the food in both the main dining hall and the dinner at Lotus Mahal all are some of the extras that is making one want to experience them over and over again.

The awe and amazement of seeing the ruins and architecture of the kingdom on the following day was a fitting compliment to the splendid experience we had in this luxurious resort.

Stunned in these momentous luxuries, a little bit of anxiety of a tourist on the recent cancellation policies of resorts were forgotten. Perhaps the tourism industry may take a re-look on something like 100% penalty for cancellation within 14 days to check-in. We’re in an uncertain times and a more liberal terms like a tiered penalty policy could make everyone happy. Such smaller breakage should compensate any lost opportunity, and could see more and more waiting in the queue.

I have no hesitation in recommending this beautiful property for a unique experience. Privilege of seeing the magnificence of the famous kingdom is enhanced with the wonderful experience at the resort.

Reasons why one should experience the stay here:

1. History of Hampi

2. Best in class resort

3. Super service

4. Will exceed expectations

If 5 is the maximum rating, this is 5+*.

Evolve Back Humpi! A Super Resort and A Gentle Holiday.

Valentine’s Day

What a special day this is! Celebrated with all the vigour and enthusiasm all over the world.

A day of love, friendship, goodness and compassion.

Flowers are the symbol, cupid the passion and gaiety the celebrations.

It’s the day when St. Valentine wrote a letter to a fellow prisoner’s daughter before he was executed.

“To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.”
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5”

That’s Shakespeare! If it’s easy, then Shakespeare would have been read and not taught.

“The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.”

That’s Nursery Rhyme for us lesser mortals, and it says it all.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day

Price Is Not Premium Always.

Sweet Tamarind of Thai origin is such a delight, almost addictive.

On the left I have the box of 250 grams sold at the big supermarket in Kerala at a price of ₹150. And on the right is the same stuff of 250 grams bought here in Bangalore from Namdhari. For a price of ₹90.

Both are the same product, probably imported in bulk and packaged differently and priced differently.

Both taste the same! And paying 67% more for one doesn’t give me any satisfaction, even the false sense of consuming a high priced product.

Price is not premium, always.

Price Is Not Premium Always.

To Be Well With Wellness.

Wellness is the desire for all of us. We can have different measures for it. It’s important that we have a plan for our desires.

Wellness coaching is a tricky thing. There are numerous methods and recommendations towards a healthy life. Then how to choose a good one poses a challenge

The best way to do that is to set our own goals and try out what suits and works best for us.

That means, we need to be researchers. Look at recommendations and statistics, but test and evolve what’s good for us.

If I share my experience, I have found intermittent fasting as something really working. I consider Gin Stephens book ‘Delay, Don’t Deny’ as a good guide for it. She narrates based on own experiences, tests and trials.

Goals differ from people to people. I have set what could be considered as a very tough goal of acquiring six packs. That’s to look good.

Looking good is perhaps equally important like being healthy. Weight loss for many of us is looking good.

Personally, I don’t want to sacrifice much while going for the looking good and younger goal. One such sacrifice sought to be avoided is eating my favourite sweets.

Technically, internet fasting is okay when anything is eaten but confined only to the eating window. That perhaps take care of the sweet tooth. But there’s more to be done.

Losing fat, weight and toning up muscles need some extra bit of efforts. What if avoiding sugar and processed food help the task better. Well, worth giving a try.

So it’s worthwhile to look at diet, workout, and fasting to gain the best results.

For me they will be intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, some sensible eating during the window, exercises for weight loss and muscle building and swimming.

What we have to do is to select what work for realising the goal and make it the lifestyle.

To Be Well With Wellness.

What the Winter Has Done to the City of Dreams.

On the left is the terrace view in Bangalore in November 2020 and on right the same view now in February 2021.

That’s the winter effect in Bangalore. Mercifully, not all leaves have gone and it’s still green on the whole.

In spite of turning into the Indian Silicon Valley with resultant concrete jungles and unmanageable traffic, Bangalore has the greenery.

And there are always some lacing of colours with exquisite flowers.

It’s a city of dreams.

What the Winter Has Done to the City of Dreams.

Making Of a Chef! The Role Of Ingredients.

You have to do it when you’re just an amateur in cooking, but have a great passion for it, derive satisfaction in making food and follow some great recipes. You have to have the right ingredients at arms length.

We have the usual salt, pepper, chillies, coriander etc etc available, as they are for daily use.

But there are ingredients used once in a while, sometimes just a pinch of it but which would make all the difference between a great dish and something just to satisfy hunger.

Many of them are rare, not always available in the corner shop and one has to turn to Amazon.

But then, you decide to split the living in Kochi and Bangalore! There’s a way to avoid looking for ‘buy one, get one free’. Just buy one and carry with you.

Here’s some of them, brought from Kochi, which will go back with us from Bangalore when we return.

Saffron, for example is pricier than gold, but biriyani has no ‘dum’ without it.

Then there’s shrimp paste for that exclusive taste for the Thai green curry, Bamboo shoot for the shrimp dim sum and lemon grass powdered for that oriental taste.

Because, the right ingredients can make you a chef.

Making Of a Chef! The Role Of Ingredients.

Babloos or കബിളി നാരങ്ങ for us. Pomelo for Others

It’s probably the second largest fruit (jackfruit is biggest and Durian is that family). And it’s a citrus fruit. More like the grape fruit.

The sacs inside, looking like frozen coloured dew drops are quite juicy, are a bit sweet with a citrus tinge.

The best way to consume is to take out all the juicy sacs, spread some sugar over them and just eat them.

This is from our place in our hometown. And it’s bringing back childhood memories.

Babloos or കബിളി നാരങ്ങ for us. Pomelo for Others

How and Why I Am Cooking.

The best I could do was a fried eggs other than the typical Kerala special Poott.

But I used to hang around the kitchen in my childhood assisting my mother and watching her helpers, orotha chedathy and parre chedathy going about some of the most skilful acts in making those delicacies.

Of late I have started on trying out a few of those exotic and traditional dishes, some of which are practically extinct.

I find satisfaction, sense of achievement and quite a relaxation after making something which I never thought I could make.

Here are some of them, which I had blogged earlier.

https://obsessed2015.com/2018/04/20/chakka-unda-jackfruit-balls/

https://obsessed2015.com/2017/10/30/virgin-coconut-oil-my-favorite/

https://obsessed2015.com/2020/10/28/adigas-sambar-felt-like-a-michelin-star-chef/

https://obsessed2015.com/2021/01/25/thai-green-chicken-curry-i-did-it-i-did-it/

https://obsessed2015.com/2018/01/11/chakka-chips-best-in-class/

https://obsessed2015.com/2020/06/18/vietnamese-chicken-curry-try-this-and-youll-be-hooked/

https://obsessed2015.com/2019/04/29/manga-thera-mango-bars-the-uniquely-traditional/

https://obsessed2015.com/2021/01/21/dim-sum-har-gow/

How and Why I Am Cooking.