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Padmanabhapuram Palace & Museum of Antiquities

Built in the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace seems to have resisted the sweeping march of time. On the Thuckalay-Kulasekharam route, turn from Thuckalay to the Palace, which is just one km from Thuckalay. For many, the palace is a pitstop on the way to Kanyakumari from Thiruvananthapuram. The palace has a handful of families who have lived here for generations.  I was walking towards the biggest wooden palace in Asia. The Palace is nestled by the bustle of shops and hotels. A walk after crossing the main entrance takes you back to the reign of royal kings of Travancore. The first sight of the palace was impressive. Once you enter the large lawn, you can watch a 300 year old clock which still keeps time.

Our first stop inside is 'Poomukham', where the king entertained special guests. The entrance of this building is shaped as a triangle and it showcases the indigeneous architechtural style of Kerala.

The most striking feature of the building is the wooden ceiling, where n…

Rock Garden, Malampuzha, Kerala

When I visited Rock garden in Chandigarh long back, I was impressed by the breathtaking artwork and installations. I had the same experience when I made a detour to Rock Garden which is located 800 meters South of Malampuzha Dam in Palakkad district, in the Indian state of Kerala. This garden is situated with a backdrop of the Malampuzha dam and the collection of artwork is conceived and designed by the renowned sculptor Padma Shri Nek Chand Saini, the creator of India's first Rock Garden located in Chandigarh. This is the first-of-its-kind in South India and thousands of visitors travel to Malampuzha to see the master pieces arranged in the Rock garden.  The site was very peaceful even though it was a weekend that I visited. After crossing the entrance, you can see the central courtyard with arts in the traditional form of Kerala.

The unique feature of this garden is that the artifacts displayed here are made of waste materials such as used plastic bottles and cans, waste pieces…

Lucknow Guide : Kebab, Chikankari and Architecture

I had  read much about Lucknow over the years. It was the capital of the Nawabs of Awadh during the 18th and 19th century who lived well, enjoyed the arts and indulged in good food. Hence, Lucknow is often lovingly referred to as the city of Nawaabs, Tehzeeb (Respect), Kebab (Food) & Shabaab (Beauty). The rulers of many dynasties ruled the city which finally came under the rule of British. After independence, the city was made the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

A road trip from Kanpur to Lucknow on a Sunday morning and  much of the countryside appeared just as I had  imagined. During the 2 hours journey covering 94 kms, I noticed the empty paddy fields on both the sides covered by smog.

Here are some places you must visit while in Lucknow.

MARVEL AT THE ARCHITECTURE OF BARA IMMAMBARA

Nestled in expansive lawns, Bara Imambara, also known as Asafi Imambara was constructed in 1784 by Nawab Asaf-ud Daulah, the fourth Nawab of Awadh. Bara means huge or big, and an imambara (a congregation …