Travel Essays: Indian journeys, and more..

#1 Nov 26th, 2010, 05:44
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Guy Trebay writing for the New York Times T magazine.

Quote:
It is not surprising that after 10 centuries or so, a precise procedure has evolved for taking the ritual baths at Rameswaram. As it happens, the first holy dousing bath takes place not inside the temple at all but in the sea nearby. Modestly ducking behind a column at the public bathing ghat, I stripped out of my polo shirt, jeans and underwear and knotted the dhoti around my waist. Handing Jayapaul my glasses, I stepped into the shallows and made my way out through low waves afloat with abandoned garments to immerse myself.

I did it quickly, holding my nose. Then I dashed ashore, looking for Jayapaul, who appeared to my confusion to be waving me off.

‘‘Three times,’’ he shouted. ‘‘For the Samudra snanam,’’ or holy sea bath, ‘‘you must go under three times.’’
Guy is a funny writer, who normally writes about fashion scene for NYT, and Styles section. This piece on Madurai is pretty much how many view the bathing ritual
#2 Nov 26th, 2010, 11:06
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We went briskly from one well to another, following a route through the vast structure that seemed anything but sequential. By the fourth well, I had given up trying to guess the location of the next or where we were headed or even what I thought I was doing there. Spiritual cleansing was anything but the image most prominent in my thoughts, which strayed continually to a vision of blood sheeting down my forehead as inevitably I slipped on the mossy pavers and cracked my skull. It didn’t happen.

‘‘it never happens,’’ reads a needlepoint pillow in the house of a friend. And somehow this high-WASP rendition of the all-is-illusion tenets of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy popped into my mind as I went from the 19th to the 20th bath. Thus the terror of germs, of grunge, of mold and eternal confusion and the conviction that I was either an idiot or a madman fell away by the 22nd dousing.
for them who're wondering about the missing link the OP has clean forgotten to post - house of the holy!

brilliant piece of writing!

guy should write on travel more often.
his description of the chettinad countryside is - zimbly... namaskaram - and dotted with information as well.


thank you.
:brishti
#3 Nov 26th, 2010, 17:16
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nice one, well written.
#4 Jan 4th, 2011, 05:38
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#4
Coffee and more

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Aside from the coffee’s global reputation, the real draw for visitors is the lush vegetation that provides shade for the coffee plants, and the animal life — birds in particular — that calls it home. Coorg is part of the Western Ghats .
#5 Jan 28th, 2011, 16:30
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Luxury in Ladakh

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This window into life in Ladakh (and access to the 13th-century temple) had been arranged by Shakti, a two-year-old Indian company that takes travelers used to high thread counts and high tea on treks through the Himalayas — a region formerly the exclusive province of trekkers and religious pilgrims willing to trade comfort for the hope of transcendence.
#6 Jun 8th, 2011, 12:06
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wanderLust and Lipstick

Dont get mad, get a spa treatment Dianne Sharma-Winter says

"A variation of my Motto of Don’t get mad, get a facial is Don’t get a migraine get a massage or Spa me Up Baby."

A series of articles on her India trip.

Wanderlust and Lipstick is a site geared towards women, by women writers.
#7 Jan 9th, 2012, 13:29
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#7
Quality work i like to read it.
#8 Jan 17th, 2012, 20:20
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Good info. Going to take a bit of time to think over the stuff.
#9 Mar 25th, 2012, 06:57
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Guy Trebay again...

Guy Trebay again, this time India in One, Two or Three Weeks.

Quote:
THE connection between travel and a Coco Chanel dictum may not be that obvious. The French designer once purportedly said that a woman should stop before leaving the house, gaze in the mirror and then remove one piece of jewelry. The operative principle was to simplify.

In travel it is seldom acknowledged how routinely people pile on excess. And while this may not hold true on cruises or Club Med, where the biggest daily challenge is finding the proper level of SPF, among independent travelers the tendency is to take on countries, regions, continents, galaxies.
#10 Mar 25th, 2012, 11:43
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nycank, great stuff, keep it comin'....lots of good articles/resources, ferreting them out is a job in itself, much appreciated! Guy really captures that part of south India, painting a vivid picture in the mind's eye. Tamil Nadu: indeed beautiful, sleepy, ancient, bustling, colorful, and so much more...
#11 Jun 1st, 2012, 09:11
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And now my good friend Abraham Varg

An essay by Abraham Verghese about Kerala, faith, Gulf Mansions and a good old Massage.
#12 Jul 18th, 2012, 00:19
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#12

Road Warriors

When the going gets tough.....

When time is a precious commodity, or space is at premium. Frequent flyers.. a.k.a road warriors share tips.

Quote:
Of course, part of planning a getaway is preparing for bumps in the road — like having your flight canceled. And the only thing worse than being stuck in an airport without a flight is being simultaneously stuck in a phone maze unable to reach a customer service representative. That’s why Mr. Ferriss and his peers use GetHuman.com, a Web site and free app that tells you the swiftest way to reach a live operator (for example: dial the 800 number, then press 1 and then 4). “Calling on the phone is always faster than getting in line at the customer service desk if there’s a problem,” he said.
My tip is: Always let your airline SMS you news about changes, delays and any thing that impacts your travel. This way, if there is a delay or cancellation due to weather or mechanical, you are not stuck at your home airport, or if on the road, your minimalist airport with unheated floor and no space to sit.

Being at home or your hotel/pensione/host's house, you can work the special number from your cell phone. Be patient, if your lose your cool, you are not getting brownie points from Samantha from Bangalore who is trying to get you an upgrade, and out on the next available flight out of Dodge !
#13 Jun 3rd, 2013, 03:05
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#13

Himalayas

This morning's newspaper brought Himalayas to a hot humid NYC doorsteps

Quote:
For centuries, the location of Hemkund remained a mystery, until it was rediscovered in 1934 by a retired army officer named Sohan Singh. It turned out to be a lake called Lokpal, which had long been holy to Hindus. These days, it’s estimated that upward of 150,000 people make it there each year.

In the Himalayas, Journeys of Faith and Flowers
#14 Aug 17th, 2013, 11:36
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post Guy Trebay writing for the New York Times T magazine.



Guy is a funny writer, who normally writes about fashion scene for NYT, and Styles section. This piece on Madurai is pretty much how many view the bathing ritual
Three times.........!!!!!!!!! under water ?????? I just wonder if the water was clean.
#15 Mar 30th, 2014, 07:55
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#15
Russ Juskalian on Jaisalmer

Quote:

On the evening before my camel trek, I spent 30 minutes chatting with Dilip, the owner of the government-licensed bhang shop, around the corner from the outer gate of the fort, on a street lined with leather workers. The shop sells legal preparations of marijuana in edible, or drinkable, form. I’d ordered a bhang lassi, thick with ground pistachios, saffron, black pepper and dairy curd. It tasted like Turkish delight in milkshake form. Considered at once a medical tonic, a sacrament, and in some parts of India more socially acceptable than alcohol, bhang is as old as the Vedic texts, and remains legal and regulated in Rajasthan.

But a warning: It’s strong stuff. When the bhang finally hit me, I was having a hard time holding a conversation with another guest on the roof of our guesthouse. After excusing myself, I spent the next hours in my room contemplating the vibrating sensations in my body and staring out at the twinkling lights of the city I had been exploring for the last two days.
An interesting piece on Jaisalmer.

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