All posts filed under: Nepal

Pokhara: Beyond the Hiking Trails

One morning in the middle of Nepalese winter, I woke up to the sound of children singing and playing from a house a few hundred meters behind our hotel. I opened the door to the balcony, stepped outside and let the cold and crisp air […]

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Here Come the Europeans

Chapter 5, Part 4 Long after being considered merely as medicine, in the 15th century the Europeans’ perception toward spices began to shift as they were used more in local cuisines. Spices added an exotic taste to the continent’s traditional dishes, and demand from royal […]

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Influences from Bharat

Chapter 5, Part 3 At a heritage house in Kumarakom on the bank of Vembanad Lake, a part of Kerala’s iconic backwaters, I discovered one of the biggest surprises during the Spice Odyssey. On the day James and I arrived, we were served several dishes […]

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The Chinese Connection

Chapter 5, Part 2 Known as the “Middle Kingdom” in Mandarin, China has always projected its image as the center of the world even long before the modern People’s Republic of China was formed. Prior to the creation of the Communist state as well as […]

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Kirtipur the Brave

Chapter 1, Part 21 For centuries the Malla kings had reigned over the Kathmandu Valley marked by periods of repetitious amity and enmity among the rulers of Kathmandu (Kantipur), Patan (Lalitpur) and Bhaktapur. Since the 13th century, they had shaped the distinct Newar culture reflected […]

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Kathmandu the Eclectic

Chapter 1, Part 20 Our driver who picked us up from Bhaktapur tried to reach our hotel using the number I gave him earlier. He tried several times, to no avail, until he decided to just ask the locals for direction. We were heading to […]

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Patan the Beautiful

Chapter 1, Part 19 One early morning at the reception in our hotel, situated amid the labyrinthine alleys of Kathmandu, we asked a lady, presumably the manager, about the cost of taking a taxi to Patan during the fuel crisis. We then walked to a […]

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Bhaktapur the Resilient

Chapter 1, Part 18 One dynasty falls, another rises. One kingdom declines, another flourishes. It is one of many patterns that repeat in perpetuity over the course of the history of mankind. As the influence of the once mighty Buddhist kingdom of Bagan gradually waned, […]

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The Spice Odyssey, A Prologue

Asia. Home to 4.4 billion people, more than half of all human beings on this planet. It is where some of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen flourished. It is where gunpowder, papermaking, printing and the compass were invented; where Hinduism was created […]

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Out of the Archipelago

After three months exploring Indonesia, from Sabang (Indonesia’s westernmost city) to the Banda Islands (where nutmeg originates) in the eastern part of the country, James and I traveled across Southeast and South Asia to continue retracing the ancient Spice Route. The journey took us to three […]

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