21 Travel Secrets From Adman and Sketch Artist Viswaprasad Raju

This creative man is a travel addict, and it shows!

Viswaprasad Raju is an advertising professional and travel sketch artist based in Hyderabad. A fan of Wimbledon, fine stationery, Galle and the National Parks of Central India, he is the author of two books and a soon-to-be screenwriter. Team TS got the chance to have a little chat with him, and this is how it went!

1. What is the most stunning view you’ve come across?

At an elevation of 2.164 ft, the Grimsel Pass in the Swiss Alps is the one of finest in Europe; connecting the upper valley of the River Aare with that of the Rhône. You would be lucky if you can witness the ‘River of Clouds’ when swells of vapour due to a meteorological phenomenon known as inversion appear from nowhere. 

Even otherwise, there’s so much to be in awe of, as you travel through hairpin after hairpin, taking in the mountain air and the gorgeous scenery.

2.  If you got a free ticket to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Hop on the next plane that takes me to any of the Scandinavian countries. To experience the Scandi way of life: the Nordic approach to design, the focus on balance, the connection with nature, and the way to ‘real’ happiness. 

3. Aisle or window?

Window. Without a doubt.

Here’s why:
– You can look out and act as if you are lost in thoughts when you have annoying co-passengers to deal with.
– It’s fun to see the world drift past.
– You get to reflect upon through glass panes.
– To open new windows in your head.
– To read, write and sketch.

4. One memorable meal you experienced on a journey?

On a family trip to Singapore, we chanced upon Gajalee. Crabs, mutton sukka, sole kadi, kulfi were our favourites. It became our go-to place right through our stay. Only when we were in Sentosa for a day trip, did we give the place a miss. 

5. A hair-raising moment from your travels?

While we were on a trip to Shirdi, a gang of dacoits were on the prowl. They smashed the windows of the bus. Our driver somehow managed to dodge the situation and successfully navigated the traps (fallen trees). Thank GOD! 

6. What is the one place you’ll never go back to?

Genting Highlands, Malaysia. Tacky, touristy and a terrible place to be.

7. One smart trick you’ve learned as an avid traveler would be?

To check travel documents. Have multiple hard copies, in mail and on the phone.

8. One travel mistake you’ll never make again?

Carrying unnecessary baggage.

9. One country/city that surprised you in the most amazing way was…
viswaprasad raju
Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle, Sri Lanka. This place inspired me to pen my first screenplay: The Ceylon Drafts. You will get to see, hopefully soon, how and why Galle mesmerised me to write a film about a place. 

10. What’s the first thing you look for in a hotel room?

Room with a VIEW.

11. Besides Maps, one travel app that is an absolute essential for you?

Guides by Lonely Planet

12. The longest – or most wonderful – road trip you’ve ever taken?

Cape Town to Cape of Good Hope. Not long at approximately 2-hour travel time, but it’s one of the most incredible road trips I have embarked upon. Table Mountain National Park, Fishing Villages, Wildlife, Beaches, History, Botany, Geography, Shipwrecks, Two Oceans, Cafes and so much more. 

Cape Town
viswaprasad raju
13. Your favourite airport?

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad. In my book, it’s one of the finest in the world; it’s Hyderabad’s pride. The road to the airport itself is one amazing trip as you zip past on the ORR with outstanding scenery for company. I often check into Novotel Hyderabad Airport for a staycation or a leisurely lunch. It’s more than an airport, it’s a world in itself. With so much to do in and around, it’s a destination that can take you places if you want to. 

14. One coffee shop or restaurant, anywhere in the world, which you loved?

Mahesh Lunch Home, Mumbai. For Bombay Duck, among other seafood delicacies. Every time we are in Mumbai or Bombay. 

15. The maximum stamps on your passport are from…

Thailand. Since the first trip, I have been there many times. Mostly for TVC shoots. There’s a print shoot planned there soon, so looks like Thailand is sticky, very much like their Mango Sticky Rice.

16. The roughest terrain you’ve ever trodden?

Ladakh. In its rawness lies its beauty.

17. The most interesting thing you’ve brought back from your travels?

I usually flick coasters and, sometimes, I buy cheap souvenirs (the tackier, the better). And, needless to say, capturing the places, the people Via Pen & Ink on sketchbooks, that’s the most interesting thing for me that I bring back home from a trip. Memories etched in ink. 

18. One gift from India you like taking for your friends abroad?

Some fine stationery from some fine places such as Good Earth.

19. One movie or book that made you want to travel?

For me, it’s travel magazines. Conde Nast Traveller, Monocle and, of course, Travel Secrets.

20: Fill in the blank: I always carry a ……. in my bag

Sketchbooks. Loads of them, in fact.

21. Most sketchable place on the planet?

Two of them: 

1) London, UK

Nothing sums up the city better than what ‘Monocle’s Guide to London’ has to say: The UK capital is at once a world-beating centre of culture, art and creativity and a confusing mix of winding lanes and village-like neighbourhoods where time seems to have stood still. It’s fun to capture the stillness and chaos as the city beats to a rhythm of its own. 2,000 years of history, iconic museums, royal gardens, the world’s greatest literary hub, sports and music capital and more. All waiting to be sketched. 

viswaprasad raju leopard

2) The National Parks of Central India 

Tadoba and Kanha are my go-to getaways. Whenever I can snatch some time from my day job, you will find (if you can) me in the woods of Central India. Mostly sketching and rarely taking pictures, but taking in all the serenity and beauty with me, immersing myself in the experience and being one with nature. 


We at TS love talking to fellow travelholics like Viswaprasad Raju and Priya Hunt! Follow this space for more such fun conversations.

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