Any tourist with preconceived notions that India is just a dust bowl, third world country, has not heard of The Ridge located in the center of beautiful hilly Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. Meandering lanes run like arteries to Mall Road, the heart of The Ridge amongst scented pines and rhododendron forests, green pastures and snow capped peaks.
Tourists relying on their trusty travel guide will miss out on this destination located within the historic Fort George of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. And while Marina Beach is nearby and captures most of the foreign visitor's attention, St Mary's Church has a fascinating story to tell. Locals, taxi drivers and car services can easily get you to the proper location past the imposing security gates at the fort entrance.
I had convinced myself not to see the Kathakali dance program scheduled upon my arrival in Fort Kochi. The drive into this city was long, my time was very short, and I had a list chock full of sightseeing to work through. No matter what excuse I gave, my driver Selvam, was not going to let me miss this show. Fortunately his persistence convinced me to give it a try with the agreement I might be coming out early.