Postcard: The Holy Elephant

11th March 2013 Hampi, Karnataka, India Animals have traditionally been accorded a special place in Hindu mythology as vehicles of gods or deities themselves. That is the reason some animals are considered sacred even today in Hindu culture. Apart from the ‘Holy Cow’ which is considered the most sacred of all animals, elephants are a …

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Experience: A pilgrimage to the Mecca of Cricket (England)

9th August 2015 London, England The Lord’s Cricket Ground in London is often called the Mecca of Cricket and travelling there to watch a test match is considered to be equivalent to Haj pilgrimage for a cricket fan. Being a diehard cricket enthusiast from childhood myself, I could not imagine leaving London without visiting Lord’s. …

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Postcard: The Feline Fascination

Antalya, Turkey (8th October 2014) In Turkey, cats are everywhere. The Turkish fascination for cats becomes apparent particularly in the cities where they are omnipresent. Whether you are wandering the cobble-stoned streets of Istanbul or taking in the sights of the magnificent mosques of Sultanahmet, whether you are exploring the old town of Antalya or …

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Experience: The Religious Fusion of Cao Dai (Vietnam)

4th January 2013 Tay Ninh, Vietnam I thought I knew my world religions. I thought I had seen all the well-known religious places of worship - a Hindu temple, a mosque, a church, a monastery, a synagogue and even a gurudwara. And then travel managed to surprise me once again! When in Vietnam, I found …

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Postcard: Fishing for Mussels

Alleppey, Kerala, India (28th January 2015) Going around the backwaters of Alleppey provides a fascinating sneak peek into the different facets of local Keralan life. One such example was when I saw a man dipping into the water repeatedly and emerging after a few moments. I thought he was taking a bath or probably swimming. …

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Experience: The Haunting in Kuldhara (India)

24th December 2013 I do not believe in ghosts. But I do like ghost stories. As a child, I was brought up on a diet of spine-tingling ghost stories, and I remember feeling thrilled while listening to those, although they were meant to put us to sleep. After I grew up, I seldom got that kind of excitement when …

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Postcard: The Pantheon of Deities

Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India (15th August 2014)Hinduism as a religion is a very attractive lure for many foreigners visiting India. More often than not belonging to a monotheistic faith themselves, they marvel at the hundreds of gods that Hindus worship. As I was walking near the Shravanabelagola temple in Karnataka, I noticed these idols of Hindu …

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