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.

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.









How and Why I Am Cooking.

Why Do We Exercise!

Sometime back I was attracted to the saying that we exercise to impress the neighbor.

Now I look at it as need based also. Weight loss is a universally accepted reason. Better health, keeping fit etc are others.

Walking perhaps is most common with gym visits, weight training and others in the list.

There are quite a few who exercise for the company of fellow athletes.

But then, after a time we want to see some results. Some adjustments are required for it to happen.

Research says that slower walking helps losing weight better than jogging or running. So there’s some science behind all these.

This is what I do now:

I have adopted intermittent fasting as a lifestyle. To compliment the weight loss. I do some slow walking.

I want to walk on stones barefoot, like I used to do in childhood days when chasing fish in the river. So my walking for fat burning is barefoot on the cobbled ground with enough pebbles to toughen the barefoot.

I have a dream to acquire six packs. So I want to lift weight, do push-ups, pull-ups and crunches.

I want to get rid of my lower belly and love handles. For this I do anabolic and HIIT workout.

I am looking at some medals in Masters Swimming competitions. So I swim like a trained swimmer.

I want to acquire some yogic benefits. So I do yoga.

That’s hell of a lot.

Why Do We Exercise!

Chakka Undas Lasts Longer.

These jackfruit balls were made in April 2018 and I just took a few for eating with coconut. This is the best way to enjoy chakka undas.

It’s intact, probably tastes better after about 3 years. It was kept in glass jars and in refrigerator general compartment.

I must make new stock in the coming season.

Link to my April 2018 post is here.


Chakka Undas Lasts Longer.

Why I Made Biriyani!

Everyone around me is good in making Biriyani. My wife is an accomplished cook who loves Biriyani. And it’s in the menu in most Kerala restaurants.

New to cooking and focused on trying out exotic and traditional dishes, I am an unlikely Biriyani chef.

But, then I made it, made plenty of it to feed a typical Malayalee family.

The reason, well the reasons are: 1) I saw this recipe for Dum Biriyani and the process looked doable. 2) My wife likes Biriyani.

The recipe is by Mahima Simon and the YouTube link is given here. It’s in Malayalam, but with an essential subtitling in English. For Malayalees, it’s like a coaching as she explains the steps beautifully.

I must admit that I got a huge elevation to contentment and feeling of achievement after making this Dum Biriyani. Thank you Youtuber Mahima Simon. She has several other exotic recipes and demonstrations and it will be worthwhile to subscribe to her channel.

Why I Made Biriyani!