June 9, 2016


The Falaknuma Palace is the perfect place to end our trip together. A space to catch our breath in an iconic Indian setting before we fly home. A place to meditate on what we have seen.


Falaknuma means 'mirror of the sky'.


photo:  Bernard Gagnon, shared unde...

June 9, 2016

Hyderabad is another 'small' Indian city with a population of 6.5 million.  It's also called Cyberabad, with 45% of new job creation for the youth of the city being in IT.  Google and Microsoft both have their headquarters in India here and there are many call centres....

June 9, 2016

It's very early on Friday morning.  I've made myself a cup of Indian Earl Grey tea, and I'm sitting at the desk in our quietly elegant room at the Falaknuma Palace.  This is the central courtyard garden. Our room is half way down on the left. 


I had a go...

June 9, 2016



It’s an easy drive from Mysore to the Orange County resort on the Kabini River from where we’re going to visit Nagarhole National Park.  More fertile farming land with paddocks of small crops.  We’ll stay at the Orange County Resort which is on the shores of a m...

June 9, 2016



John took these bird photos yesterday. Two Brahminy kite chicks.  When we return after our tour today at 5pm, we worry that they have come to grief.  There are no parents to be seen, and no little fluffy heads sticking up. Nothing for 15 mins. John says that at this...

June 9, 2016

We're playing hookey this afternoon and skipping a temple so I can catch up a little.  The internet here is still a problem, so I’m sitting in the lobby again.  John is upstairs taking photos.  Outside our second floor bedroom window there are two brahminy kites with a...

June 9, 2016

We wake in Cochin to the sight of a busy waterway below our hotel window. 


The city is on a huge lake, 90 kilometres long and 8 kilometres at its widest.  Built near the outlet to the Arabian Sea, it's a thriving seaport. The waterway reminds me a little of Istanbul, w...

June 9, 2016

We are early at breakfast this morning.  John is looking forward to bacon. The boys in the dining room have told him that it's one day bacon, the next day sausage.  Yesterday was sausage.   


He says to our waiter, 'So, is it sausage or bacon today?'...

June 9, 2016

It’s spice heaven today.   The latitude, altitude, rainfall and soil make this the perfect place for them.  Most are not native to India but were brought here during European exploration.  There are two monsoons on the top of the western ghats, and 3.5 metres of rain....

June 9, 2016

We leave Tamil Nadu today for Thekkady in Kerala.  We've seen many beautiful temples but I'm looking forward to the spice-growing areas.


It's a fairly leisurely morning's drive with a stop at a vineyard which grows table grapes.  The vines are suspended at a metre and...

June 9, 2016

The Taj Hotel is high on a hill overlooking the small town of Madurai, population 3 million.  The main building was the residence of the chief officer of a British textile company from 1890. Its elevation makes it slightly cooler than the city below.  



June 9, 2016

We are leaving Thanjavur.  I am trying Indian food for breakfast.  I have appam, which is a lacy crepe cooked in a small buttered wok-shaped saucepan until it's a crisp bowl shape.  Then it's filled with all sorts of savoury fillings.  I have it alone, but a fellow tra...

June 9, 2016

We are going to the Brihadeeswarar temple for evening pooja.  That’s the Hindu practice of daily prayers.


There are representations of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati in the temple, and they have to be cared for by the Brahmins.  I’m still not sure what they look li...

June 9, 2016


We are at Thanjavur after a 350km bus ride yesterday, punctuated by a couple of temple visits and lunch. It was a long day so please forgive me for not posting for you last night.


The bus is a 32-seater with two seats each and more. I’m glad we can spread out. I sit u...

June 9, 2016

Isn't that a great name?  Once I realise it rhymes with Pamela, it's easy to say. I like saying it over and over under my breath.  Or out loud.  


We've joined the ADFAS tour which starts here in Mamallapuram, south of Chennai.  If you're not familiar with ADF...

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"I never travel without my diary.  

One should always have something

sensational to read on the train."  

                                - OSCAR WILDE

shelley dark 

© 2017 Shelley Dark  

email: shelleydarkwriter@gmail.com

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