I am a fan of Alexandra Kovacova of crazysexyfuntraveler.com. She has been travelling as a child and she has covered many countries around the world. Although she has not visited India like some of my other interviewees yet, she says she will visit the country very soon. Read her interview here.
Indian civilization is thousands of years old and one unique feature about Indian civilization is that art and culture are so intervened with the day to day life that it is difficult to separate them. In India be it the holy temples or the day to day clothes and jewelry everything, is a shining example of art in day to day life. In this post I want to talk about the very special piece of jewelry worn by Indian women.
Those traveling around the world know the drawbacks of not knowing the local language hence I had recorded the most common Hindi words and phrases here for those visiting India. I have now gone a little further and decided to list some of the most important Hindi words, phrases and conversation in an ebook format.
I would like to introduce Samantha and Yeison of mytanfeet.com. I have been following their blog and have been impressed by the interesting stories of their travels. Here’s their interview.
Who are you?
We are Samantha and Yeison, a couple living in the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica. We were long distance for 2 years and then Samantha moved to Costa Rica last year and travel has always been a theme for our relationship.
Visiting India will not be complete without visiting an Indian home. If you intend to visit India and planning to visit someone at their home then here are some do’s and don’ts.
If you are a woman then try to dress modestly unless you are going to a rave party in Mumbai. Most Indians are conservative by western standards and they might be offended if they see you in revealing clothes. Why not impress them and wear a salwar kameez. If you really wanted to flatter them then you can wear the saree. Here’s how to wear the saree.
Michaela Cross, a 23 year old American student of “South Asian Studies” from the University of Chicago who travelled to India in 2012 to study has written a document called “India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear” on CNN’s ireport under the name “RoseChasm”. She describes how she was sexually harassed, groped, stalked, stared and masturbated at. It was so bad that she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder upon her return to the United States.
My book “India Travel Survival Guide For Women” (previously in Kindle edition) is now available in paperback. The reason for the slight delay was because I was waiting for the proof (printed copy for myself) to arrive from the publisher & distributor (Createspace) in the United States. This allowed me to see exactly what the paperback would look like in my hands. Once it was in my hands, I had to preview the final version. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with the printed version which I then approved. It took them about 4 days for them to make it available for sale on Amazon. I am also planning it go for “Expanded Distribution” which means it will be available to larger audiences through more online retailers, libraries, academic institutions, book stores and distributors such as Barnes & Noble within the United States and Europe. You can find the US version here and the UK version here.
My friend Manuela shares her experience of her visit to the Golden Temple Amritsar (also known as Swarn Mandir) in the Punjab.
Golden Temple: More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold By Manuela Osorio Pineda
I’ve always considered myself as an ‘off-the-beat-traveler’ who craves visiting the remote little spots of a country to find its essence in the unknown and not so popular places; one that always preferred to stay in hostels or with locals through CouchSurfing instead of booking hotel rooms, and definitely the type who ‘hates’ scheduled tours and ‘you-have-20-minutes-to-go-get-a-profile-picture-and-come-back-to-the-bus’ orders … Although I have to say I’ve been there and done that. After all, you’ve gotta try things to know you don’t like them, right? 😉
Have you noticed that ruined Temples have a charm associated with them – Especially, if a Temple is very old? Today, let us look at one such charming, old and ruined Temple in India – Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple, Pulicat, Tamil Nadu. Does the photo below look like the entrance of a Temple? It sure looks like an entrance alright, but Temples here generally have a Gopuram (Tower) on top of the main entrance doors. Looking at the size of the Temple doors of this Temple, the Gopuram should have been quite huge. But no one knows whether the Gopuram was destroyed in a war, or whether the Temple was constructed with a Gopuram at all! If there was no Gopuram from the beginning, this Temple should be quite unique.
This is a story of my friend Rishabh Oberoi who went to the Kumb Mela this year. This is the part 1 of his visit to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad.
Part 1: The World Largest Religious Gathering of People on the Bed of Sangam
I believe Indian culture is the most colorful and diverse culture on the planet. From the world-famous food to the way people look and dresses; our languages, music, art, dance, architecture and even way to serve food is different every 100 kilometres throughout the country. One place where you can really see the diversity and complexity of this culture is the Kumbha Mela.
I want to announce that I have now released an ebook about travel safety for women travelling to India. The book is called “India travel survival guide for women”. It is available on kindle format on Amazon and I hope to get it out in paperback too.
This is the first book of its kind. I had a good look on Amazon and I am convinced that is no other book like it. There are some other books that are based on solo travel in India but this will perhaps be the first one by an Indian woman giving it a unique perspective.
Don’t be surprised to see two men holding hands in India. In most European nations and in the USA, this public display of affection can be mistaken for being gay or lesbian but not in India. Here we don’t see it that way. Just because two men (or women) are holding hands or they have hands on other’s shoulders does not mean anything. They just happen to be friends and there is nothing sexual about the whole thing.
My friend Natalia from Brazil was recently in India where she happened to visit the Taj Mahal along with other places in India. She sent me her account of her visit along with some of her photos that she took on her visit. This is the personal account of her visit to the glorious Taj Mahal. I hope you will like it and I hope her story will convince you to visit this amazing Indian monument of love.