Lodi Art District – May 2019

St+Art has completely transfigured the look of Delhi ‘s street, yet again. A good 2 hours walk between Khanna market & Meherchand market in Lodhi Colony will leave you astounded as they illustrate their ideas into big art on the big walls.

The Lodhi Colony of Delhi is India’s very first open public art district. Art information courtesy to Start India.

Enjoy the photographic journey of this amazing street walk by Robindro – founder, travel curator & photographer of Serene Journeys, a bespoke travel & experiential based in Delhi welcoming our LGBTQ+ travellers & hetero-friendly 😉

@aaronglasson || ‘The Sacrosanct Whole’

New Zeland artist Aaron Glassons’ ‘The Sacrosanct Whole’ is a magnificent ode to the underlying sacredness of all the things of the world.

Watch the movie and try to spot all the cultural references that Aaron drew from traditional Indian history and the Indus valley civilization.


@yohnagao || ‘The Light Fort’

Inspired by the unity in diversity Yoh Nagao experienced throughout his time in India, he decided to depict this thought as a wish in his mural for the Lodi Art District.

The mural is a wish for the community to stay together, and build on this openness and acceptance as long as possible. Yoh used patterns from Japan and India to create a piece that presents a mashup of cultural symbols from both nations.

He used the Arabesque Pattern which has traditionally been a part of the Islamic and Japanese traditions, and represents eternity. Spikes depicted in the artwork are a symbol for protection amongst the Ainu people in the Northern part of Japan whom Yoh also draws his ancestry from.

To build on the Indian context, he used the image of a hand holding a flower which represents the idea of welcoming a guest, and being open and inclusive. As Indians it is part of our tradition to be gracious hosts. We have a proverb stating ‘Athithi devo bhava’, which translates to ‘The guest is God’, and the symbol of a hand holding a flower builds on that idea. This image is also used extensively as a sticker in public transport such as Auto rickshaws and buses.
Therefore, the mural becomes a representation of diversity that welcomes people visiting Lodhi Colony.


@sam_kulavoor || ’Social Media Friendly Plants’

Mumbai based artist Sameer Kulavoor is a multifaceted, and is as comfortable working on the streets as he is in the gallery. For Lodhi Art District, he produced a work which is part of his ongoing series of looking at life in the digital age. Here’s what he had to say about his work with us. “Algorithms are a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. In the 21st century, algorithms are the basis of social media and its influence can be seen on the way we live at a micro and macro level. They seem to have control over the human psyche – how we feel, what we think, what we eat, where we live, how we live, who we make love with, how our surroundings look like. Algorithms are said to have allegedly influenced international politics and the rise of right-wing thinking. Trollers and influencers are legit professions.” This thought by artist Sameer Kulavoor, is what stands behind the intricate composition.

Over the past two weeks, Sameer worked with a dedicated team of volunteers from St+art, painting his enigmatic figures that transcended dimensions and gravity, taking selfies mid-air and critique our digital lives where plants, as Sam observes, help you get a bunch of likes on your selfies.


@andreco_ || ‘Climate 05 – Reclaiming Air and Water quality’

Italian scientist-artist Andreco’s mural is a one-of-a-kind example of environmental activism through street.
From its design, to the ink used, to the graphs drawn on the wall, Andreco’s mural is a warning on how climate change is taking pace and the huge risks it poses for the environment and all living species if we don’t drastically change our mindset and habits.


Majili Art Forum || ‘Gracious Heritage’

Majili Art Forum is a New Delhi based organisation which acts as a platform for promoting local artists and creative talents through exhibitions, talks and workshops. In the spirit of building new synergies through artistic collaborations, St+art invited the Majili Art Forum to experiment the large canvas of one of the walls in Lodhi Art District.
15 artists from the collective got together to bring to life their first large public art mural. Mindful of the pockets of greenery embedded within Lodhi Colony’s landscape and Delhi at large, the artists created an artwork utilising the trees in front of the wall to create a dream like image to speak about the city’s heritage that exists in the form of nature. Drawn delicately onto the walls, Asian elephants emerge as a symbol of endangered species creating a giant yet soft presence within the piece.
For the collective, these elephants are a larger metaphor of our natural heritage that is slowly fading away due to urbanisation and the increase in pollution levels. As a way to reminisce the lost richness of nature in our cities, the artists created this dream-like image emerging from the real trees that face the wall. Thus, to project the grey area between what is present and what is slowly becoming absent.

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 @skl0_ x @waywardclouds || ‘Cause & Effect’

The mural by Sam Lo at block 13 in Lodhi Art District tells the story of how a little sparrow’s actions are tied to another’s fate. As free as they may be, or think that they may be, they make their decisions with all the information they have on hand, while dealing with their shadow selves and their environment.

Hence the mural puts the viewers at the centre of its storytelling, for them to wonder about one’s freedom and relationship with all the others. Maybe you are that sparrow as well?


@_theyok & @_sheryo || ‘Letters for Lodhi’

Inspired by the visual cues of vintage Indian matchboxes, the Singaporean art duo brings a colourful mural that contains a series of cryptic messages embedded within.

Justice, Equality, Health and Fortune all form a clear indication of the core message behind the piece which are meant to be evocative of the Indian public service announcements in bus and train stations. There’s even a ‘call your mom’ on the wall as a reminder to, well, call your mom because your mother is very important and deserves to hear from you more often!
There is a central arch which the artists call the ‘Gupt Dwar’ meaning ‘secret passageway’ as they believe Lodhi to be a place rich in cultural treasures and generous people. The passageway is meant to lead you to good health and fortune and is guarded by two cats on the sides who protect you as you journey through it.


 @yipyewchong || Impressions of Lodhi

Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong is as peculiar in his style than he is in his life. After having left a managerial position in finance, the 50-year-old accountant turned muralist.

His work in Delhi is a direct reflection of the scenes from the street of everyday India, from the markets of Lodhi colony and Khanna market, to the neighbouring regions

He is well known for creating interactive pieces which invite people to become a part of his work and paints characters that are inspired by people passing by and inhabit the streets on a daily basis.

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Inspired by his extensive passion for travelling and exploring new environments, his style weaves a calligraphic representation of street culture in and around Lodhi Colony. Vibrant lettering now adorns one of the facades in the locality, while pedestrians engage with the artist and his work through a quiet observation, wondering what it will turn out to be!

One of the largest AR pieces in India.



Unexpected rainy days posed a bit of a problem for Priyesh – the Mumbai based artist well known for his ‘Aadarsh Balak’ series which is a viral sensation on the internet. But he has been powering through it all continuing work on the biggest walls he has done so far.



The artist from China, DALeast, names the mural ‘Order and Chaos’ taking inspiration from his time in India.
For this particular wall, DALeast saw a beautiful arch which was the highlight for the mural. He depicts a flock of birds flying towards the centre of the arch – but all in complete balance and synchronicity – with an order to that chaos. He explores the tense relationship between the natural and the artificial, the organic and synthetic, forming an art work true to the characteristic of India – chaotic but beautiful and functional.
With this work, he has also made use of shadows since he believes that shadows, in a sense, validate our existence in physical space.


@david_leitner || Reveal

Through his work in Lodhi, Austrian artist David Leitner wanted to highlight some of the socially relevant themes, he experienced in his time in India, such as the environment and gender issues.
The wall has a few elements which are quintessentially Indian and also shed light on the amount of plastic being used and wasted. Women are seen as powerful central characters on the wall, while three sets of text in Hindi, shed light on the fact, that of the 1 million consumed plastic bottles, only 9% are being recycled.
Through his work, David hopes to draw the attention of people to these pressing issues, while hoping that to start a dialogue between the locals about these topics.


@dostreetart @bykhatra 

Indian duo Do and Khatra, their artwork at block 5 is around the differences and similarities between rural and modern urban India

As usual, their approach to the wall is very old school despite their young age. Each artwork by the Indian duo is a unique piece which constantly evolves as they spend more time at the wall. Often initial design elements are changed, or newer ones added into the composition as they respond to the space they are working in.


 @georgiahillbth x @hanifkureshi || ‘Yahaan’

Based on St+Art India’s ongoing work with the community in Lodhi Colony, and responses from locals of how they feel about the area, Australian artist Georgia wanted to work with Hanif Kureshi to reflect how language reinforces our sense of belonging.
Building on the English phrase ‘This Must Be The Place’, the artists arrived at a Hindi translation of ‘yahaan’ (‘here’), where radiating lines and abstracted type would come to interact with each other, representing unique, varied, and ultimately connected interpretations of a sense of place.


“How Is Global Warming” by @gaiastreetart 

For his wall in lodhi art district, Gaia explores the impact of green house gasses and global warming on our society. Using the arch of the wall, he made the Shish Gumbad, known as the glass dome in the Lodhi colony area, right in the center of the composition. Behind it, a Victorian botanical garden plays with the concept of greenhouse gases. This pairing is flanked by two hands emerging from the water signifying hope and despair. On either sides of the wall, the artist has painted one inflated globe and one deflated globe, to show the effects that globalization has on our planet.

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Aaron is a Canadian visual artist currently based out of Brooklyn who uses local narratives from both his homeland and India to address the global issue of climate change.
In Lodhi colony Li Hill painted the facade with image of human figures transforming into a tiger and a polar bear. The Tiger represents Eastern knowledge, while the Polar Bear represents the west. In a symmetry that reads the architecture of the building, Aaron speaks about the dangers we pose to the world due to our own behaviour while the speed and powerful poses of the characters also indicate the speed at which things are changing, and the power we have in altering our conditions.


@saner_edgar || Discovery of India – Balance in Mind and in Spirit

Saner’s work is symbolic, intricate and yet, direct.
As he himself explains, “The mural is inspired by some concepts that have crossed over to Mexico about the Hindu philosophies, mainly addressing the enlightenment through self-knowledge, through following a spiritual path and above all looking for the rebirth of and being to improve within from ourselves.” On the sides, a man and a woman represent the order and balance in the universe, their clothes and adornments identify Mexican and Hindu traditions that create a bridge between the two cultures.

Saner often used masks in his work which are an integral part of Mexican culture and are often used as a tool to reveal the true nature of human beings using animal forms. The human wearing a tiger mask on the left side of the wall is representative of Indian culture and people.

The rich diversity of the two countries are represented by the flora and fauna. This is also an important motif for Saner since he wants people to remember that we are one with the planet and its natural beauty which has to be protected.

The lateral characters – the Monkey and the Dog are the protectors – the guards, and above all, the guides who look after you on your path to enlightenment.

Finally, the lotus flower is a symbol of hope, while the heart in the middle is the humanity that binds us all together.


‘Katha-Crazy Twins: Chiller Champa & Boom Bhaijaan’ by @harshraman

Through this piece, Harsh attempts to merge the ancient Indian art of Kathakali, which is a storytelling dance-form from the south of India which uses gestures and no words, with today’s medium of no words – street art. The two heads together represent the duality of human nature and it’s art thereof. The artwork was purposefully chosen for the location so as to bridge the gap between the older migrant parents who hold on to their culture, and the younger generation – slowly letting go of their heritage.

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@aravaniartproject || Trans Lives Matter

In collaboration with the transgender community of Delhi, Aravani Art Project painted their first mural in Delhi in front of the N.P. CO-ED Senior Secondary School in Lodhi Colony.

The collective’s wall in Lodhi Colony is almost a retrospective of their body of work, bringing together delicate portraits of women they have worked in the past and women who have shaped their philosophies as well.
Unity is what emerges from the image they’ve created in a process that is fundamentally based on inclusion. 15 trans-women and several volunteers contributed to the execution of the wall making it a collective celebration of identity and representation.


 @sajidwajidshaikh || ’Shakti’

For his mural in Lodhi Colony, Mumbai artist Sajid Wajid gave an ode to femininity. Portraits of women are painted along with natural elements on a holistic amalgamation.
A vibrant colour palette and soft shapes offer a composition for the passerby to be engaged with, which are mostly children who go to the school right opposite to the wall, and their mothers who come to pick them up.
The work is a celebration of femininity and responds to the need of men to contribute to women empowerment as well.


@adelerenault || ‘These Rock Pigeons Chose The Trees’

The artwork by Belgian artist Adele is now complete at Block 14 in Lodhi Colony. Her work celebrates one of the most common sight in cities which are often considered ordinary, but through her work she presents them as magnificent creatures full of beauty and grace.
The pigeons by Adele are already something notable at a distance, but the real impact of her work comes through the details once seen upclose, in person.


Colours of the soul by @senkoeone

Inspired by the beauty of nature, Senkoeone painted these birds since in Mexican culture as well as several others, are symbols of diversity, identity and freedom. Birds are also considered travellers with a lot of experiences and stories to tell. Hence he painted the birds in Lodhi Colony to represent the colourful diversity of the people who live there and also to encourage them to communicate with each other and share stories, just like the birds would.


@dude.sg | The Singapore Lane

Eugene Soh gives a nod to the Florentine polymath with Moh Lee Sha, in which the staggeringly famous Mona Lisa — of which an earlier version is incidentally on display at The Arts House — is re-imagined through a Singaporean lens. Instead of Lisa del Giocondo, the image features local band The Sam Willows’ Benjamin Kheng, who does a passable job of imitating her enigmatic expression. And, to drive the point home, the idealised landscape in the background of the original is replaced with another ideal view of sorts: Singapore’s skyscrapers, greenery and Housing and Development Board flats.


Robindro Saikhom

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Kissed by the pink Monsoon

Experience the Magical Monsoon of Kerala.

Serene Journeys monsoon getaway to Kerala, exclusively for MEN only & why not? 
The sunset at the chinese fishing net, an unforgettable journey through the villages alongside the backwaters, the enchanting beaches & the river life surrounded by the waters of the River Periyar. Explore life, people, culture, cuisines, experiences and interactions. This trip is all about you, enjoy your ‘ME’ time and you can thank us later.

Image © Robindro Saikhom


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Day 1   Cochin arrival

Arrive Cochin airport. Meet & greet at airport and transfer to hotel for check in.

Rest of the day at leisure
Overnight stay at hotel

Day 2   Cochin

This morning after breakfast sightseeing tour of Kochi. Visit the Dutch Palace (Friday closed), the Jewish Synagogue – (which remains closed on Friday & Saturday) St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. While driving along the coastline, at the Harbour’ s mouth, one can also view the unique and still-in-use “Chinese Fishing Nets” which were introduced by the Chinese traders in the 14th Century. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500- year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved.

Evening witness Kathakali dance performance Enjoy India’s most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied with drummers and musicians.
Overnight at hotel.

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Day 3   Cochin – Kumarakom (40 KMS / 01 HOUR)

Today morning after breakfast drive to Kumarakom. Upon arrival check in to the hotel.

Kumarakom is a small village 14 km. west of Kottayam. It is a part of Kuttanad, which is a ‘ wonder land ‘, lying below sea level, comprising of a number of islands, in the backwaters. Kumarakom is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, this small water world has plenty of traditional country boats, crafts and canoes, which will take you in to the heart of scenic Kerala.

Rest of the day is at leisure, own activites.

You can enjoy spa and Ayurveda massage at hotel – on direct payment basis.

Overnight stay at hotel.

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Day 4   Kumarakom

After breakfast, we proceed for the houseboat day cruise followed by lunch (duration 03-04 hrs.) takes you through the intricate maze of backwaters, mesmerizing and surprising you at every turn with its serene beauty & simple charm. Enjoy the countryside of Kerala at its best. Soak your eyes & soul with array of coconut trees & endless paddy fields. You will also get chance to take a small stroll through the villages & interact with the locals.

Post cruise return to your hotel, rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 5   Kumarakom – Mararikulam (30 KMS / 45 MINS)

Morning at leisure, after a leisurely breakfast check out from hotel and drive to Mararikulam. Upon arrival check in at hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure. Unwind & relax at the beach.
You can enjoy spa and Ayurveda massage at hotel – on direct payment basis.

Overnight stay at hotel


Day 6     Mararikulam

Day is at leisure / own activity.

You can enjoy spa and Ayurveda massage at hotel – on direct payment basis.

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 7   Mararikulam – Perumbavoor (78 KMS / 2 HRS DRIVE)

Today morning after breakfast drive to Perumbavoor and check in at resort Quiet by the River situated in the Malayattoor forest range.

‘Quiet by the river’ is a scenic island resort, surrounded by the waters of the River Periyar. The approach to the resort involves a 30-minute ride aboard a 4×4 vehicle down a rugged forest trail to an embankment point, followed by a short ride across the river in a country canoe. For accommodation, there are four lodges, right on the banks of the river. The resort commands spectacular views of the gushing streams and the lush forest. The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is close by and the area is frequented by lots of colorful birds. The location of the resort is ideal for spotting wildlife and one may even see elephant herds. The food is terrific – mostly, traditional homemade native dishes are served.

Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 8   Perumbavoor

Day at leisure and free to experience various activities offered at the resort like a forest trek with a naturalist during day or night time. Early morning bird watching or a country canoe ride to explore the river.

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 9   Perumbavoor – Cochin departure (01 1⁄2 HOURS DRIVE)

In time transfer from hotel to airport to connect flight for onward destination.


For reservations, email robin@serenejourneys.co (no com)

Hotel Envisaged:



  • 08 Nights hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis including all existing taxes.
  • Accommodation based on bed & breakfast basis except at Quiet by the River in Perumbavoor where it’s on APAI (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Meals are Fixed Menu or Buffet at hotel restaurant
  • Meeting and assistance on arrival / departure by SJ representative
  • Transfer from airport to hotel and vice-versa.
  • All transportation by AC private car.
    Sightseeing, excursion and Surface travel as per program.
  • English speaking local guide at Cochin sightseeing tour in the program.
  • Kathakali Dance in Cochin.
    Day Houseboat on backwater followed by lunch
  • Entrances fee as per the program

Payment Schedule:

  • Deposit Per Person at Time of Booking: 30% (full-payment if within 120 days of departure).
  • Final Payment Due: 120 days prior to departure.

Cancellation Fees Per Person:

  • 121 days prior to departure or more: 10% of the tour price.
  • 120-91 days prior to departure: 20% of the tour price.
  • 90-61 days prior to departure: 50% of the tour price.
  • 60 days prior to departure or less: 100% of the tour price.

Cancellations must be received in writing.


  • Travel Insurance; Any airfares.
  • Costs associated with obtaining passports or entry visas.
  • Excess baggage charges; gratuities to the Resident Tour Director.
  • Meals other than those specified in the itinerary; room service, beverages other than those noted in inclusions above.
  • Sightseeing not included in the published itinerary; and personal expenses such as laundry, telephone and optional activities (which are subject to availability).


Most hotels allow check-in to take place during the mid-afternoon while check-out is expected by noon. Should you wish to have a guaranteed room ready for your immediate check-in upon arrival or late-check-out, it can be arranged for an additional charge.


Upgrades are available on request at individual hotels. Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking rooms and special dietary needs should be advised at time of booking. Please note that while every effort will be made to secure a special request, it cannot be guaranteed.


Please note should your journey include internal/domestic flights, your luggage allowance may be less than two (2) pieces of baggage and weight/size restrictions. Standard check-in baggage allowance is 15Kg and additional costs may apply.


Travel insurance is not included in the price of the program and is recommended. Please purchase a good Travel Protection Program (which provides cancellation coverage, medical coverage and protection against lost or stolen or damaged luggage)


SJ reserves the right to take photographs and video during the operation of any tour and to use them for promotional purposes during the program and thereafter. By booking a program with SJ, guests agree to allow their images to be used in such photographs and video. Guests who prefer that their images not be used are asked to identify themselves to their Resident Tour Director at the beginning of their program.

Jimbaran Fish Market: Dining with the flies.


The vegetable selection

Don’t be fooled by the title, it’s not as off-putting as it sounds. To most who visit, it is a little seafood paradise and very local.


This place is essentially a fresh seafood market. Wholesaler to the finest large and small hotels & resorts in and around Jimbaran including the ever so posh Four Seasons. The market is also a great place to enjoy the treasures of the sea just after the catch. From huge lobsters, mahi mahi, snapper, tuna, a tremendous variety of prawns and various other unlucky sea creatures (at least that’s what I call them) all are ready to be grilled or prepared to your liking.  The Fish Market is also one of the best cheap eats in Bali. The lobster is priced at around 350,000 IDR (= $24)/kg which is entirely negotiable. Six of us feasted on a platter of sardines, medium sized prawns & squids (4kg altogether) costing only about 200,000 IDR or $14.


How does it work?  We arrive at the fish market and start browsing the big selection of all these yummy creatures on display underneath 4, 100-meter long pavilions. Choose your favorites, strike your bargain and off you go to the open kitchen with your catch where they prepare your order beachside. The dishes are then served with rice and sambal mata, a kind of lightly sautéed onion and fresh chilly. Alongside are small shops selling beer, coconut water or other soft drinks to wash down your food.

The experience may be a bit challenging for the nose, but then one can’t expect pleasing fragrance around a fish market. Of course, as with any outdoor dining, there may be a few flies around but entirely manageable and again this comes with the territory. This is definitely not a place for creature comfort but heavenly to those who simply enjoy eating the finest seafood smack on the beach.  Local troubadours even come by and perform Balinese live music for tips of a dollar or two.

It’s one of my favourite spots when in Bali along with enjoying the various, plentiful warungs– small traditional, buffet style cafés featuring 15-20 different Indonesian dishes.

Inexpensive living, cheap food & drink–what more can one ask for on and exotic island paradise?

Enjoy Bali!

Robindro Saikhom

Robin is the founder of Serene Journeys, a gay travel company based in Delhi and a freelance travel photographer, exploring the beauty of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Southeast Asia.
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Eating in Bangkok

Last night’s dinner started with a random stroll, just bumping along the road. We decided to walk around Suan Phlu Soi area and pick a Thai restaurant. We wanted something local, non-descript, undiscovered for us. As so often happens in Bangkok, we stumbled upon exactly what we were looking for in no time Larp Suanplu. Just the perfect little restaurant with 4-5 tables serving both Thai & Northern Thai style. Simple, very casual with delightful menu and great, friendly staff. We enjoyed a bounty of 9 different dishes…
• Fried rice with crab meat
• Fried rice with salted fish
• Stir-fried pork liver with black pepper
• Fried pork neck slices with fish sauce
• Papaya salad with crab
• Stir-fried century eggs with crispy basil
• Spicy shredded bamboo-shoot salad
• Sliced grilled pork neck salad
• Spicy chicken curry
Plus of course a local Singha to wash it down… All for around 700 baht ($20).
Ah!!!!!!! Bangkok.
By the way, fyi this is our unsolicited personal opinion. By no means, a requested review from the owners.

Fried rice with crab meat


Fried rice with salted fish


Stir-fried pork liver with black pepper


Fried pork neck slices with fish sauce


Papaya salad with crab


Stir-fried century eggs with crispy basil


Spicy shredded bamboo-shoot salad


Spicy shredded bamboo-shoot salad


Sliced grilled pork neck salad


Spicy chicken curry

Going Incredibly Asian.


Jackfruit, the largest tree born fruit in the world, a species of the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. The jackfruit plant originated in southwest India, where it grows abundantly. And then, it spread to other parts of India, southeast Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

It has a mildly unpleasant aroma if you are sensitive but not nearly as aggressively pungent as Durian. The flavour is a mix of banana & pineapple with a texture of chewy to succulent, depending on the ripeness.

Many consider the best part to be the giant seeds, which are a delicacy for the locals and popular among foodies & fruit connoisseurs. As I say, “when in Asia, go Asian”! The seeds are best boiled or roasted, and you will sometimes see them offered on the streets. The taste is a combination of Taro & boiled potato with a fine sweetness of chestnut.

Next time you buy jackfruit, don’t forget to keep the seeds. Enjoy!


Goa and the Magical Monsoon – II


Birds-eye View of Planet Hollywood Goa (Picture Courtesy: PHG)

The penultimate last day of a memorable Serene Journey in Goa during the monsoon season.

The first few days were terrific and today was a real topper!


The Pink Room Spa at Planet Hollywood Goa (Picture Courtesy: PHG)

After a relaxing deep tissue therapy at the Pink Room Spa, I was all set to explore with Planet Hollywood Sales Director Ms. Charmaine, the Braganza House in Chandor, a small village in South Goa. Built in the 17th century, the Braganza mansion was the home of Luis De Menezes Braganza, the champion of Goa’s freedom. The ancestors were Hindu ‘Desai’ before converted to Christianity after the Portuguese entry.

As we walk up the rickety stairs, we were greeted by Ashley Braganza from the 15th generation, who showed us around his family’s residential wing. The other wing was occupied by another sibling’s family. A short tour took us to the living room, ballroom, dining, master bedroom ensuite and a private chapel.


the stairs to Braganza house

The house is a living museum including a collection of antiques by various members of the family.  Here you will find intricate wooden furniture, porcelain, in rooms bedecked with Venetian glass chandeliers and Italian marble flooring. We then went to the private chapel. When St. Francis Xavier’s remains were brought to Goa, a nail from his body was given to the family to keep as a relic in the chapel. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation, whether large or small, to help maintain the house and its historical character.  This concluded the sightseeing for the day after which I enjoyed a fabulous meal with Trupti Wesley founder of the Chickoo Tree Project restaurant at Margao followed by Feni (local alcohol) shopping.

And in conclusion…



The beaches of Goa have been ranked by CNN Travel as #3 in the world and National Geographic Travel ranks the nightlife in the top 10.  So many thinks of Goa as primarily an exotic beach party experience. Certainly, the beaches, the nightlife and the cuisine are world class. But Goa offers so much more to the traveller who explores the depths of its diverse culture. It’s a place where east truly meets west. An Indian palette painted upon a European canvas. It is truly a colorful, historical, spiritual and serene place…that just happens to be a lot of fun to boot!

I also can’t stress enough how truly wonderful Goa is in monsoon.  Here the rain falls softly and shares the day with the sun and lush tropical foliage. The monsoon is the epitome of renewal and nowhere is this more apparent than Goa.


A big thank you to GM Anand, SD Charmaine, PR Rajveer, DM Wallance, Chauffeur Rahesh and team PHG.


One rainy day… Picture Courtesy: PHG


Who does’t love a Sunday Brunch


oh yes, keep pouring please…. (Picture Courtesy: PHG)


The grill counter


thank you for the rainbow cake dessert


Robindro Saikhom

Robin is the founder of Serene Journeys, a gay travel company based in Delhi and a freelance travel photographer, exploring the beauty of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Southeast Asia.
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