The lakes, rivers and oceans in my life have always had a calming effect on me. At different times, I’ve stood on the balcony of a house facing the Arabian Sea, watched the Pacific Ocean roll past me on the Amtrak Coast Starlight, cruised in a canoe through Kerala’s backwaters, woken up to a sight of the Chilika Lake from the Coromandel Express and watched stars sparkle over Lake Constance in Switzerland. These have been but some of the times when these varied water bodies have given me clarity, peace, perspective and put knotty issues coursing through my head to bed.

This is why when I started planning for this special issue, I thought back to the experiences by waterfronts that have fulfilled me—and I knew these water bodies would hold some great travel stories and experiences. In this special issue, we bring to you some of the most memorable waterfront journeys of some of our best writers and photographers.

Shruthi Rao writes about a lake that’s long been Mysore’s muse and yet is concealed from tourist brochures. Salil Tripathi reminisces about a 1985 trip when he cooked curried mussels on a boat. Sumana Mukherjee finds herself up close with blue-footed boobies in the Galápagos Islands. Gautham Manohar’s cruises down the ghats of Varanasi, while Anoop Krishnan gives you a close-up view of Alleppey’s snake boat race.

We hope you enjoy reading the pieces here and that they inspire you to strike out on journeys of your own. Tell us about them at lounge@livemint.com.

Shamanth Rao

Issue editor

Also Read

Alleppey, Kerala | The big splash

Chandpur, Bangladesh | Hook, line, sinker

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador | Bird’s-eye view

Kukkarahalli Lake, Mysore | A secret muse

Maine, US | Hard water

Majuli, Assam | An isle of feasts

Noosa, Australia | Shores of the sun

Ullswater, England | Forever lake

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh | River theatre

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