LADAKH FOR THE CULTURE VULTURE

Over the years, Ladakhis have proven the fact that satisfying life can be lived even with minimal natural resources, extreme heat and cold, little or no rain, a crumbling mud-brick homestead and a cooperative spirit. You already know that journeying along Ladakh’s spectacular supernatural surroundings is an exceptional experience. Now imagine taking it all in along with heartwarming conversations with the locals about their culture and conventional ways of life! Here’s how to bond with this magnificent region beyond just sightseeing

VOLUNTEER AT A NUNNERY WITH A VIEW

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Travel does go beyond photographing iconic sites and sampling local food. Volunteer at Nyerma nunnery (in Leh) overlooking the snow-clad Himalayas and give your trip a deeper purpose. Shake off the stress of city life and live like a nun for a few days. Relax, meditate and occasionally help the elderly nuns in their day-to-day chores like cooking food, farming, cleaning up and more. If you’re good at something, share your skills and knowledge with the humble nuns who enjoy bonding over activities and conversations. By giving something back to the society as a traveller, you not only understand and respect other cultures better but also work towards finding a clearer direction in life.

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HOW TO TELL AWESOME STORIES THROUGH YOUR CAMERA

Travel the world and come back with a suitcase full of memories – all this only with your camera lens

Do you happen to remember the smell of a pretty flower you saw in the garden, the thrill of sitting in a roller coaster ride, the adrenaline rush you experienced during white water rafting, the fragrance and taste of local food and the warmth of the natives who gave you shelter? The photographs you click during your travel should bring these sensations back and help you share those fun-we-had stories with your loved ones. So how do you click the best shot?

You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved…
– Late American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams

For capturing a picture that comes alive every single time you look at it, you need to think and feel as much as you need to look.

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PADHARO MHAARE DES…

that translates to ‘Welcome to our city’ exemplifies the spirit of Jodhpur which isn’t simply an architectural marvel but a canvas of Rajasthani culture, colours, music and more

Ever thought the colour locals painted their homes with only to ward off insects would become synonymous with the city? Earlier, Jodhpur used to suffer from a major termite problem and thus, the people there began adding copper sulphate to their whitewashes, which lent the city its pristine blue-indigo hue. Traditionally, blue signified the home of a Brahmin, but gradually non-Brahmins too fell in love with the tint and got in on the act. Yes, the Blue City is really blue! It has been chronicled in many a photographic anecdotes, written tales and beautiful canvases; but to see it come alive in front your very eyes is altogether a different experience.

Modern Jodhpur stretches well beyond the city walls, but it is the buzz of the old city and the larger-than-life fort that capture your imaginations. At the base of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort is a jumble of blue cubes that stretch out to the 10 km-long, 16th-century city wall. Inside are vibrant, entangled and bustling medieval streets – all of which look-alike and never seem to lead where you want them to – and shops selling everything from vintage home decor and temple decorations to skirts, saris, jootis and traditional embroidered jholas. With many of the alleyways now obstructed with unwanted scrap, forget exploring the city on foot, especially during muggy monsoons. The attractive-looking rickshaws here are made super slim to be able to squeeze through the narrow streets and make for a great travel option. Their sight makes you want to hop into them straight away!

RAJPUTANA SPLENDOUR

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