Cruising on the Irrawaddy (Myanmar Musings 6)

All river-cities have a special charm; Mandalay, the old capital of Burma, has an EXTRA special charm. The EXTRA comes from the exciting river journeys possible from Mandalay to the older capitals of Burma. The Burmese Kings had a penchant for building new capital-cities. Was it astrology, economics, or just the desire to leave a…

Footloose in KL -2: Star Attractions

THE USUAL SUSPECTS FIRST… This is a sequel to my previous post (Footloose in KL -1: Malaysian Grace ) on KL.  Our KL Tour Plan was simplicity itself. Meaning, we had no plan! We were footloose, and our methods were trial-and-error.  Yet, we stumbled upon some lovely sights. My local friend Vaseehar suggested that we…

MM5*: The Tamil keeper of Moghul Memories

Realistically, this post should have been titled “Two Ruined Royals” — but that would have surely put you off !  This is about the last Moghul who died in Myanmar and the last Burmese King who died in India — Two largely forgettable events remembered collectively in pathos! The Last Moghul He only wanted to…

Myanmar Musings 4: A village on the Lake

A WW-II airport We landed at Heho, an old WW-II airport in Shan State, about 600 Km from Yangon. I believe, one can see still bomb-craters at the edge of the airport.  Not much has changed after the War. Our luggage was manually brought from the plane in a trolley pushed by the porters. We…

Myanmar Musings 3 -Temples & Kings: Stories of Bagan

Bagan is a small town (pop. 50000) in the Mandalay Province of Myanmar. The name ‘Bagan’ is probably derived from Pyu-gon (The Pyu Place), because the Pyus were the original natives of Bagan. The Pyus traded with India, and encouraged many schools of Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism. By the 9th century  the mainstream Burman (or…