Pearls Across Penna- Day 2 (part 1) – Penusila Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Penchalakona ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

1 hour 10 minute drive from Venkatagiri to Penchalakona After a long day starting from Srikalahasti and then to Venkatgiri, we made our way to stay overnight at the village of Penchalakona This village is part of the Rapur Mandal in the Nellore District. The area is also a wildlife sanctuary which is about 1030 … Continue reading Pearls Across Penna- Day 2 (part 1) – Penusila Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Penchalakona ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Pearls Across Penna Trail – Day 1 (part 2) Venkatgiri Weaves and Venkatgiri Fort ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Satiated after a Andhra thali lunch at the Hotel MGM Grand, Srikalahasti, our next stop was the town of Venkatgiri. This is a town in the Tirupati District of Andhra Pradesh. History of Venkatgiri: Venkatagiri was originally known as Kalimilli till the 17th century and was ruled by Gobburi Palaiyakkarars (or Polygars as the British called … Continue reading Pearls Across Penna Trail – Day 1 (part 2) Venkatgiri Weaves and Venkatgiri Fort ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Pearls Across Penna Trail – Day 1 (part 1) SriKalahasti Temple & Kalamkari Artists ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

The 'Pearls Across Penna' travellers in the corridor of the SriKalahasteeshwara Temple, Srikalahasti Two groups converged from Chennai and Bangalore at SriKalahasti to what was the beginning of the 'Pearls across Penna' trail. The trail was named after the 'Pennar' River, which is a unique river in itself. It originates at the Nandi Hills, which … Continue reading Pearls Across Penna Trail – Day 1 (part 1) SriKalahasti Temple & Kalamkari Artists ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

A Serbian Sojourn, Day 8: Oplenac and Topola regions ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Topola: It was time to check out of Hotel Tornik and head back to Belgrade. En route we had planned to visit the small town of Topola. It took us a little over 2 hours to reach Topola (Oplenac) which resembles a 19th-century town till today.  In the 19th century, this area was covered in … Continue reading A Serbian Sojourn, Day 8: Oplenac and Topola regions ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

A Serbian Sojourn, Day 5, 6, & 7 : Zlatibor, Mokra Gora, Drvengard, Stopica Caves, & Gostilje Falls ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

#Day5 Zlatibor town (Kraljeve Vode):  After a wonderful visit to the Studenica Monastery, we made our way to the mountainous western Serbian region of Zlatibor. It is said that Zlatibor was named after the white pines (Latin name is Pinus sylvestris variegata zlatiborica) with yellow needles that once covered the beautiful slopes of Mt. Zlatibor … Continue reading A Serbian Sojourn, Day 5, 6, & 7 : Zlatibor, Mokra Gora, Drvengard, Stopica Caves, & Gostilje Falls ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

A Serbian Sojourn, Day 5: Onwards to Studenica Monastery and Zlatibor ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Onwards to Studenica Monastery  (Day 5) 3 hours 15 minutes drive We checked out from Niš to head towards the mountainous region of Zlatibor. En route, we stopped at the Studenica Monastery. Studenica Monastery, located in the Raška district of central Serbia, is the largest and richest of Serbia’s Orthodox monasteries. It was located near … Continue reading A Serbian Sojourn, Day 5: Onwards to Studenica Monastery and Zlatibor ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Krishna Jayanthi 2022 ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

So we are done with yet another Krishna Janmashtmi (also known as Gokulasthmi, Sri Jayanthi). For my international readers, this is the day that Lord Vishnu - the Supreme Godhead in the Sanatana Dharma, took his incarnation as Lord Krishna on Mother Earth. It was the day with the asterism of Rohini Nakshatra and Athami … Continue reading Krishna Jayanthi 2022 ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

A Serbian Sojourn: overnight at Nis ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

The evening of Day 4 was spent at Niš. The town was named after the Nišava River, which flows through the city. It was first named Navissos by Celtic tribes in the 3rd century BC. From this term comes the Latin Naissus, the Greek Nysos and the Slavic Niš. This is one of the oldest cities in Europe and it represents crossroad between East … Continue reading A Serbian Sojourn: overnight at Nis ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Today it is indeed a big milestone for India. 75 years since it got independence after centuries of subjugation and division. In the last 75 years, we have taken great strides - but like all nations we are still work in progress. To my readers, I would like to share a part of my personal … Continue reading Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

A Serbian Sojourn Day 4: Smederevo Fortress, Manasija Monastery and onwards to Niš ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Day 4 was an interesting day with four stops with the Smederevo Fortress being the first one. View of the River Danube from the Smederevo Fortress Smederevo Fortress: An hour’s drive from Belgrade brought us to the Smederevo Fortress.The town began life as a small Roman settlement. In 1428, after the loss of Belgrade to … Continue reading A Serbian Sojourn Day 4: Smederevo Fortress, Manasija Monastery and onwards to Niš ©Sangeeta Venkatesh