These fascinating paintings will make you redefine Amsterdam

The Dutch capital will fuel your appetite for art. No, seriously!

Which city de-criminalized homosexuality as early as the 1800s and celebrated the first legal same-sex marriage in 2001? Where do hundreds of ‘coffee shops’ offer a menu of cannabis products openly? Where does one find a famed red-light district with legit sex shops, theatres, peep shows and even tours for those who are game? On a lighter note, for the less risky traveller, which city allows the thrill of bicycling without helmets? That’s illegal too!!

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Spectacular, sensational, spiritual. One evening. In my city.

Tune in to the rhythm of Indian classical music…

When you’re living in Delhi, you’re not just living in India’s bustling capital. You are in a city with an enigmatic past, deeply entrenched in time as far back as 3500 BC! The enduring seat of political power over centuries, right from the Pandavas to the Mughals and the British…a perfect backdrop to experience the abundant culture heritage of one of the oldest civilisations of the world. Today Delhi hogs the limelight as India’s cultural hub and I highly recommend my city for a plethora of fascinating events all year round. Come winter, it hosts some matchless cultural extravaganzas, music fiestas, theatrical shows and food festivals. Enticing enough…

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Immerse in the most authentic of Spanish experiences

Feel the vibrance and verve of the Flamenco…

Craving for some pure Andalusian vibrance? Pining for the real cultural vibe that defines the heart of Spain? Tell you where to find it? It practically oozes from every inch of the ceramic tiled walls of Seville, Andalusia’s 3000-year old capital. If you are a true heritage lover, you can’t avoid falling in love with this medieval city. It is feisty, flamboyant and fun, with unmistakable Moorish influences that entice from every colourful corner. See this article of Lonely Planet magazine and tell me you’re not itching to go…

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Make sturdy clogs to woo her? No diamond?

Marken boys proposed to girls with shoes, not rings!

If you’re looking for quaint cultural experience of a different kind, venture just half an hour from Amsterdam to Volendam. Then, if you can tear your eyes away from the picturesque waterfront, board a ferry across the lake to Marken, an island surrounded by a dyke, where a tiny population of 2000 lives on reclaimed land.

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I was shocked to see graves under my feet

Tombs on cathedral floors…

I craned my neck to marvel at the grandeur of the Gothic 225-feet high western twin towers of the 700-year old Westminster Abbey. Steps away, across the road, were the stately Big Ben and the illustrious Houses of Parliament. It was difficult to decide which was more impressive…London’s premier worship portal or the political powerhouse.

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How I curated comfort for museums

It’s not for everyone, but once you start…

Last month, I read a question by someone on a travel forum…“Is it worthwhile to visit the Louvre Museum in Paris?” Her question didn’t surprise me that much, though Louvre is amongst the most-visited spots in the world. Anyway, I was curious to know the replies, so I scrolled over the comments till I reached the most interesting one. “Don’t waste your money on the expensive ticket. Shop for LV at Galleries Lafayette instead.” This fashionista was advising a splurge on a logo-splattered Louis Vuitton piece of leather arm-candy rather than investing a few hours and a few euros on real art. Talk of divergent perspectives…specially when it comes to value for money!

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Does reverence need a voice?

How about hushed silence instead…

During a short trip to Gwalior, we happened to visit the 9th-century Sahastrabahu Temple in the complex that houses the glorious turquoise stone-studded Gwalior Fort. It was the first ‘ancient’ Hindu temple I had seen.The marvellous architecture and the exquisite carvings left me stunned. But other than the beauty, what struck me most was the peaceful aura created by the absence of idols and worshippers (to clarify, it’s not a working temple anymore).

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