KUTCH, FOR A CREATIVE SOUL

As humans, we traditionally savoured the simplicity of living that came from working manually, eating locally and loving fully. Fast forward to the present day Kutchi village, and it feels as though not much has changed. The local artist communities in the small hamlets of Kutch still reside in painted bhungas (circular mud homes with sloping thatched roofs); wear vibrantly-coloured, mirror-filled, patchwork garb; and nurture centuries-old art and crafts. A wander through these villages is like stepping back in time when the world wasn’t constantly connected, machines couldn’t talk and relationships weren’t complicated. Thankfully, the ethos of Kutch isn’t lost to modernisation and contemporary mannerisms!

Stretching along the Tropic of Cancer, from Rajasthan to the edge of Pakistan and the Arabian Sea, Kutch is a fusion of several semi-nomadic communities that migrated from as far as Sindh, Baluchistan and Afghanistan, nearly five centuries ago. They may have left their homes but they brought with them their signature art forms as well as compelling stories, experiences, history, culture and traditions that laid the foundation of the region’s rich heritage and social fabric. Even today, each of the communities express themselves through their art and textiles, only hoping to keep their craft alive for years to come.

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GOING SLOW IN ST GALLEN

In the hilly, pre-Alpine landscape set against the imposing backdrop of the Alpstein Massif by Lake Constance, St. Gallen is a place where the air is still pure, grass meticulously trimmed, green and lush and stress is a relatively unknown concept. In other words, it’s the perfect place to take time out of your hectic schedule and just be on your own timetable.

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A STEP BACK IN TIME   

When in St Gallen, you’re just an hour away from Zurich yet far away from city vibes. Spend a day walking at your leisure, admiring its one-of-a-kind architecture you get to see at every turn.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Abbey Precinct houses the cathedral and the library, and is a real treat. With its twin towers, the Baroque-era cathedral defines the cityscape of St Gallen. Know more about the monumental sacred building that has a lavishly-painted interior, richly decorated with stucco work and paintings. Once there, let the stillness of prayer and meditation envelop you

SWISS CITIES - ART & ARCHITECTURE

In the beautiful rococo hall of Abbey Library, marvel at 1,70,000 printed books, more than 2,000 original medieval handwritten manuscripts and ancient maps. After all, there’s a reason it’s known as the “pharmacy of the soul”

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