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The Vaishnodevi Experience 2023

My first trip to Vaishnodevi was unimpressive. Climbing was hard, and it only served to highlight how badly out of shape I was, while my in-laws managed to cope so much better. Further, I hadn’t quite realized that the cave experience wouldn’t be the same as I had imagined, since the original cave was only opened at certain times a year, and that we only entered a newly created tunnel, one far easier to access, and hence more manageable with the crowds that thronged the mountain shrine. The resulting experience at the shrine, for barely a fraction of a second, hardly compared to what I had expected / imagined / heard about. So, for me, Vaishnodevi was like any other temple, nothing to write home about, something that was reflected (though not explicitly mentioned) in the blog post I wrote then.


Blogger, Traveller, Freelance writer, Bookworm, Mother ..... these are just a few of the words that I think, describe me..... But if you want to know more, read on......... 

About Me......

I was one of those who was very sure what she wanted to be - a scientist.... and the road seemed clear ahead as I completed my Masters degree in Physics and enrolled for a Ph.D. That is when life took one of its sudden turns, and I found myself abandoning my choice of career and looking for something to keep me occupied.

While I was still exploring my options, I got married, and re-discovered the joys of travelling, especially since my husband loved getting out of the city as much as I did! Soon, however, came the joys (and travails) of motherhood, and life took another turn as I found that everything for me now revolved around my son.

Being the kind of person who cannot stay put in one place for too long, I was keen on doing something which would help me express myself, and that is when my sister-in-law suggested I write a blog. I was sceptical about it at first, but once I got on to the bandwagon, I was hooked!

That was in 2007. 

I have come a long way since then, and the journey has been interesting. Somewhere along the way, I began writing for magazines, and content for travel websites, and my lust for travel has only increased! I have also developed a keen interest in heritage and art, and have completed a P.G.Diploma course in Indian Aesthetics, which has honed my interest. 

Meanwhile, my blogging has grown by leaps and bounds, and in less than 10 years, have over 1000 posts on the blog, almost all of them travelogues from various parts of India. 

My travel has been mostly focussed on India, since it is my deepest desire to see as much of our rich and varied heritage as possible - both, monumental, as well as natural! However, I would love to go abroad and see more of the world, as and when the opportunity presents itself. Meanwhile, there is so much more I have to see of our country, that its sure to keep me busy for the next few years! 

My Blogs.......

This blog, A Wandering Mind is where I write most of the time. This is where you can read all about the places I visit. 

I frequently travel with my son, who enjoys travel as much as I do. Travelling with a child, I have learned, gives us an unique perspective to places, which only adds to the experience. He is, of course, no longer a child, as he was when I first began travelling and writing, and shall soon begin travelling on his own. However, he will always be my biggest inspiration! 

My visit to Kashi made me realize how little we knew about the wonderful city, one of the oldest in India, and the heart of our culture and identity. There were so many people who wanted to go to Kashi, or send their parents on a pilgrimage, but did not know the details.I thought of writing a separate blog for Kashi and the surroundings, and thus, Kashi Yatra came into being. The response from the blog has been so awesome that I feel happy to have been of help to at least a few others.


Telling stories to my son and searching for books for him made me write down a few stories by myself. Not all of them are original, while some are from mythology and some from folk tales, but they are my rendition of the tales, and you can find them on my story blog Stories for Children

The way ahead.....

I am writing more and more, both on the blog, and for magazines, as well as content for leading Travel Sites. As my son grows older, I have more time on my hands, and look forward to travelling and writing a lot more! You can check out my published articles on my Publications page.

Meanwhile, I am also looking at studying more of our ancient art and heritage, and look forward to travelling to more ancient sites within our country, known and unknown! 

Contact Me

The main reason for my starting a blog was to get in touch with like-minded people, and share information and  interests. The more I blog, the more this desire increases, so if you like my blog, please do drop in with your comments, and even if you don't, your suggestions are welcome!

You can write to me at anushankarn(at)gmail(dot)com

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, to see regular updates about my travels.


  1. Replies
    1. Like your Blogs. Good efforts put in. Feel inspired and motivated.

      My Recent blog:

  2. You sound so much like me...

  3. I like your writing specially a travel blog on Binsar, it's the Most Beautiful place i ever visited in my entire life! Thanks for your beautiful description of Binsar!!!

  4. Hi There,

    Lovely blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and journeys here. I am yet to explore it completely, but I think I will have a great time reading them all...


  5. Thanks everyone, for the comments....

    @Anuradha: guess its not the name which is the same... i read your blog too...

    @Sravani: you have a wonderful site too... just loved it... am going to follow you!

  6. You seem to have penchant for writing and a nice blow you have. Please keep writing. I am following this blog too.

  7. Sorry about the spelling mistake. Nice blog you have...

  8. Wow!I didn't know one could comment on the About Me page of the blog!

  9. My son would like to drop a few words to you. He was impressed with the sentence that 'My son is my inspiration'.
    Thank u
    Ravi babu

  10. I can get wide information through the journey of your blog. Thank you. My son was impressed your beautiful line that 'My son-my inspiration'
    Ravi Babu

  11. Your blog is very interesting and informative. Being a travel loving person, I shall keep following your blogs in the future. Keep posting more travel experiences of yours.


  12. cool!!!!!!!!! its very impressive.... Congrats n all the best


  13. hai anu aunty really nice blog and ur xperiances are very intresting im amazed tooo...

  14. life is elsewhere was thought I carried. And, that elsewhere is nowhere, rather than around. I liked going around your blog! Keep writing Ma'am.

    God bless your son!

  15. I have read your article about Gudimallam. I have traveled with your words. Great. Keep going.

    Saikiran Pamanji

  16. Hey my name is Tressa. Although I love travelling,expenses have always got in the way for me and since I am only 18, I wait for the oppertunity at college. Neverthless, I love you blog and it gave me a lot of inspiration! Nice work!

  17. @Tressa: You have a lifetime ahead to travel, so go ahead and dream... and of course plan ahead so you can save enough to make your dream come true!! all the very best!! and keep coming back!

  18. HI

    Nice write up. Few of your Blogs like Hampi,Ajanta/Ellora,Rajasthan are superb.
    I crave to visit them soon.. Hoping to travel more places this year.

  19. Hi

    Excellent one. When I googled Binsar, your blogspot was the first one and I really liked the way you elaborated. I am planning for a trip this May to Binsar, and I can't wait.


  20. Hi,

    Excellent write up. Especially your Binsar piece. Nice way of explaining. Planning for a trip this vacation. Can't wait.

    Keep it up


  21. make more time... keep going...!!


  22. thanks from my heart.... mam .... for these wonderful blog & sharing valuable information with us...

  23. Telling stories to children is not a small job.Sometimes these things go a long way if the child takes it seriously.If the soul is good,he will take full advantage of story-telling.That we ourselves force children later to move away from learning spiritualism at depth is the issue we need to rectify.We are all now worried about careers as if we will become zeros if we do not get good marks in school.If the child becomes a great engineer,it is admirable but if the same person carries forward a big negative character in him,he becomes zero even if he is Mr Einstein of China!Teenagers must be told about autobiographies/biographies rather than about puranas /epics at length.Life stories of modern devotees(within 200 years history) will make them closer to god.

  24. Telling stories to children is not a small job.Sometimes these things go a long way if the child takes it seriously.If the soul is good,he will take full advantage of story-telling.That we ourselves force children later to move away from learning spiritualism at depth is the issue we need to rectify.We are all now worried about careers as if we will become zeros if we do not get good marks in school.If the child becomes a great engineer,it is admirable but if the same person carries forward a big negative character in him,he becomes zero even if he is Mr Einstein of China!Teenagers must be told about autobiographies/biographies rather than about puranas /epics at length.Life stories of modern devotees(within 200 years history) will make them closer to god.

  25. Hi Anu!

    I just landed up on your blog last night only while going through the blog of Mridula. You sound quite interesting and your blog seems to be quite interesting and exhaustive too. Though I haven't gone through all your posts, I will surely get back sooner...

    Meanwhile, I too love travelling and writing and just started writing my blog, you can visit my blog page on and I look forward to getting your views and suggestions after that.

    1. HI Wanderlust soul, welcome to my space! i look forward to a lot of interesting interactions with you! I did head over to your blog and hope to be reading a lot more there soon!

  26. Very interesting. Keep it up. Good Luck.

  27. Dear Madam,

    I was just searching about lord Shiva temples in India and happened to land in this blog.
    Being ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, in free time I keep on searching more and more about the form
    of photos,temples,books,articles etc.I had just been to Trimbakeshwar which was very
    unique experience full of divine vibes.I like to visit Shiva Temples and have dream of visting
    maximum Shiva temples in my life.
    Since I reside in Pune, I know most of the Shiva temples in Maharashtra(most peculiarly in Konkan
    Region) which are very old.Since some of my relatives are in MP, I would love to visit
    Omkareshwar and Mahakaleshwar.
    Your blog is very helpful to get all these details.
    I thank you for this.

    Since I'm single it would be good for me if I visit most of them now so that later I can take my
    wife there for Darshan :)

    and your blog is also impressive and very well written.

    Thanks and Regards

  28. Very nice write up... Keep posting!!!!

  29. Thanks for the info regarding Aihole!

  30. Are you from the hills...shimla side...this backdrop looks like that if I am not wrong? Your blog is amazing...

  31. Hi,
    I like your blog a lot. I'm writing one too:
    Can we follow each other?

  32. a very good source of communication and able to know certain facts .

  33. you are very kind hearted, generous and inspiration for all :)

  34. your Blog is fantastic and very down to earth.

    Great Work. and you certainly are very well read.

  35. I Google for Nachiketa's story, and it led me to your blog. The thing which made me to hit the 'read more' button is your vision.

    Well, I liked it. Thank you madam.

  36. Hi Anu, Greetings. Nice to browse your blogspot. I am also working as Scientist G with DRDO, Bangalore. I (S Ravi) hail from Mayuram (Mayavaram), belong to Vadama Iyer family. I will be superannuating (retiring) from Govt service on 31 May 2018.

    It is my desire to settle down in an Agraharam in places like Ganapathi Agraharam, Thiruvaiyaru, Umayal Puram, Udayalur, etc. a traditional village with the company of Brahmins. Since you have visited many places I request you to suggest optimal place for my post retired stay.

    I will be visiting the three villages from 22-24 Dec. Then proceed to Chidambaram for Arudra Darisanam with my wife. Your advice before these dates will be of help.

    Mob: 92432 00615

    1. Hi, Your idea of settling down in an agraharam is a good one, but I wont be able to give you any suggestions. I myself dont have any connection to our hometown and I cant even begin to imagine what is the kind of village or agraharam someone can choose to settle down in. It would be easiest to settle down somewhere you would be most comfortable I guess. All I can say is that you will have to go to a couple of places and see for yourself if it suits you. Regards and all the very best.

  37. I feel so lucky to have chanced upon this blog of yours. I like to read about religious places and wanted to look for something that gives both factual and mythological aspects to the place. Your Blog exactly does that. I feel i have come to a one stop point where i can get all i want to know about important religious places!!.. Keep Wandering and keep sharing Anu ji..


  39. Fantastic blog and its articles.Thanks!

  40. Hello Anu, Excellent blog, obviously you are a talented writer and researcher. I will definitely try and read your travelogues. Keep up the great work. Regards

  41. Looks very interesting and yes I am sharing similar hobbies. Will be regular visitor to your Blog site.

  42. So much amazing travel inspo here! Lots to add to my bucket list for 2021. Thanks for sharing so many beautiful destinations.


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