Horse carriage Vienna Austria – image by Rohit Jain
Hello and welcome the June 2018 desi Traveler Digest, the summer special edition. We have some new travelers joining us while we also welcome back some of our old friends. This month I have carefully chosen images that kind of reminds me of summer holidays that all of us have fond memories and laid the founding stone for our future travels. Mind you these are not typical summer images of scorching heat, but more of celebrating summers as we travel around the world with desi Travelers.
Let us begin by welcoming desi Traveler Pamela Mukherjee, who shares this image from Sydney, down under where this permanent art installation by Artist Michael Thomas Hill takes you back to the forgotten bird songs as the birds were pushed out when Europeans started settling in this part of the city. Based on the time of day you can hear many a bird song in the area that are part of the artwork. During the day, you may hear the calls of the Eastern Whipbird, Rockwarbler, Regent Honeyeater, Grey Shrike-thrush, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Spotted Pardalote, Brown Gerygone, Jacky Winter, Scarlet Robin and many others. At night, the soundtrack switches to nocturnal birds like the Australian Owlet-nightjar, Powerful Owl, Southern Boobook, Barn Owl, Tawny Frogmouth, and White-throated Nightjar.
Next let us welcome desi Traveler Rupali K, from whose gallery I have chosen 2 beautiful images. The first one is from the daily Arti on the Ghats of Varanasi. But what I like about this image is that while most of us including yours truly typically focus on the choreographed performance, in this image Rupali has taken the image of the pilgrims/spectators as they watch the Arti spellbound.
In the second image by Rupali, she takes us to the small village of Velas in coastal Maharashtra that is a good example of involving local people in conservation efforts of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles. The village now annually celebrates the birth of next generation of Olive Ridley Turtles, by organizing Velas Turtle Festival the involves locals who open their hearts and homes to visitors from India and abroad. Velas has been on my wishlist for long and it is again one of those destinations that I had to cancel my visit more than once due to some last-minute change of plants, and that only makes my desire to visit Velas even stronger.
Let us have a look at another evening Arti on the Ganga Ghats, but this time in Rishikesh, Uttrakhand, the first town in the Indo-Gangetic plains in the long journey of Ganga. The image clicked by Ravichandra was made on Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh.
Next Vipul Vaibhav takes us to the golden district of India Kolar in Karnataka. Yes, Kolar is the original golden town as it is here the oldest Gold mines are found in India. But this image is about the green Karnataka countryside, with a mythological connection. Check the post below by Vipul to see what is the mythological sagas associated with Avani in Kolar.
If you know me a little, then you know I have a sweet spot for the City of Pearls – Hyderabad and the moment I see an image from Hyderabad I bookmark it of desi Traveler digest. Thanks a lot, Meenakshi J Iyer aka Polka Junction for rekindling the memories from Charminar and the bylanes of the Old City that has a special place in the heart of anybody who has ever been to Hyderabad.
Our first global traveler on this desi Traveler digest is Ashely Nicole who is a true global citizen. Ashley is a Canadian with a dual Great Britain citizenship, but living in France and sharing here images from Montego Bay Jamaica and from Glen Coe Scotland. Both the images are so different from each other yet to me they represent summers in some form.
“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”
I actually feel honored to feature my favorite ( yes I play favorites 😛 ) desi Travel Writer – Anjaly Thomas, who has traveled globally where no travel writer may have dared before. Originally Anjaly is from God’s Own Country and she is one of the few travels writers who have visited North Korea where there are no Gods. Yes, that is the title of her best-selling travel book > There are No Gods in North Korea. Go grab a copy if you have not done it already.
Shoes on the bank of Danube – clicked by Anjaly Thomas
Ok, now you may be wondering why I am sharing the image of Shoes onthe bank of Danube twice? Well, the second image is by our featured traveler Rohit Jain, who has earlier shared this insightful post about desi Travelers in Bhutan. While in the world of Travel bloggers, those who quit there job and travel are celebrated as heroes, I feel that those who travel with a full-time job are the ones that we need to celebrate and felicitate more. Rohit is an IITian and then did his MBA from IIM Calcutta and serves as CIO in a global IT company and he regularly shuttles between continents, yet he tries to sneak every opportunity to visit the local attractions to the places he visits. I am sharing two sets of images by him and the cover image for this post is clicked by Rohit in Vienna, Austria.
Shoes on the bank of Danube – Clicked by Rohit Jain
Ok, now the question why I am sharing the image of ” Shoes on the Danube Bank” twice? – You see both Anjaly and Rohit were in Budapest and shared this image on their Instagram feed. While they don’t know each other, the fact that this image was shared on my timeline made me think about the background of this image, which is an art installation about the Jews, killed by Nazis. Many of these folks were dragged out of their homes and made to line up on the Danube river bank, asked to remove shoes and then were shot so that they fall in the river. This meant there were no graves to be dug and no bodies to be buried. Today we are again slowly moving toward a world where diversity in society is being seen as something bad. Borders are being closed, and anybody who does not subscribe to the view of those in power is an obvious target. This is the time all sane voices need to unite and not let the dark phase of human history repeat itself. You may want to check this very old post from me that I shared on my Instagram long ago.
In the images below Rohit takes us through a fascinating journey to Pompeii, Napoli in Italy. Everything in Pompeii was frozen in time due to the hot lava erupted by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 BC. What an irony it was that hot lave froze everything in a split second not even giving time to think what happened. Check the images clicked by Rohit that take you to the life and times of pre-Christian era Italy as everything was preserved for almost 1900 years before excavation started in 18th century.
A photo series on Pompeii, Napoli Italy- Clicked by Rohit Jain
With this let me thank each of the travelers who have shared their images with #desiTraveler on Instagram. As we have space constraint I am able to share only a few of the images, but I would urge you to go to Instagram and check the #desiTraveler and see where all desi Travelers have been to. Do you know somebody whom I should feature? Or would you like to be featured on desi Traveler blog? All you need to do is follow and tag @desiTraveler using #desiTraveler on Instagram.