Vibha has been reading Rumi lately and she has even been making me read a few verses of the saint. I should admit that I have no relationship whatsoever with poetry. I have never read poetry. And when it comes to Sufi poetry, I only know the poetry that is used in bollywood sufi songs. And I never really paid attention to the lyrics. But a couple of verses by Rumi really rang a bell. So when Vibha told me about the event "Seeking Rumi - Celebrating Soulful Poetry", I was interested. The event was to be held at Akshara Theatre and was being organized by Poetry Couture and PACH.
I have lived in New Delhi for the last three years. It is a remarkable and huge city. Its sheer size, its traffic and endless noise can be pretty imposing. It is also a hugely diverse city. In terms of its people from different background, religions, from the very poor that live under viaducts to the obscenely rich who live in incredible mansions. Some stunning architecture, some very old, some very new. One place which still embodies (part of) Indian city life, is the area in and around Chandni Chowk. It is one of the oldest markets in Delhi going back to Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Some of Delhi’s best known landmarks are part of it, such as the Red Fort and the famous Jama Masjid mosque.
The need of hour is to develop and include new locations on tourist map so that people travelling to Himachal Pradesh don’t have to travel to same places time and again. Being from Sundernagar and being based out of Himachal for last 12 years, I come across new people almost every day in my life. If I tell them that I belong to Sundernagar, almost all of them connect it with the Lake and having passed through town on way to Manali. But what many of you might not know that there are quite a few places around Sundernagar which have potential to be on tourist map if proper infrastructure is developed. I would like to present through some pictures some off beat locations one can explore around main township of Sundernagar.
September has been exceptionally hot this year. With no signs of rain and the sun burning the tarmac on the roads, it has been extremely difficult to step out during the day. So what does one do? One heads out. Hills, may be. Mountains you would think. But this wasn't going to be the case for us. Work came calling and it took us to Kolkata. So along with the heat, we got an added bonus of humidity as well. And yet, we really enjoyed exploring the cultural capital of India.
Kolkata never ceases to amaze with its historical facades, traditional bazaars, Bengali eateries, and quaint roadside places. We were there for just four days and on the top of it, we had work. But still we managed to explore quite a bit and we think we did a good job. In September, you saw the first few posts of Kolata Diaries. Many more are yet to follow. Watch out, you are going to explore Kolkata like never before.
Here are the first couple of posts on the city of joy. We loved the sight of bright yellow ambassador taxis and the hand-pulled rickshaws. It seems that these modes of commuting are deliberately being promoted to preserve the heritage of Kolkata. And in many ways, they define the city. We also visited Kumartuli and clicked the Durga idols being made. It was a surreal place with incomplete idols slowly taking shape right in front of our eyes. Read the posts to find out more.
We were going through all the posts in our Keral Diaries and realized that we haven't yet done an exclusive post on the food we experienced during our trip to Kerala. And the food totally deserves it. So here it is.
Himachal Pradesh Diaries
As most of our friends know, Himachal Pradesh is very close to our hearts. This month as well we talk quite a bit about the Himalayan state. Palampur, Dalhousie, Jalori pass are just some of the mesmerizing places we talk about this month.
When talking of Kashmir, and especially Srinagar, everyone mentions Dal Lake in some context or the other. But not many are aware of the Nagin Lake, which is less crowded and better maintained than Dal Lake. Read the post to find out more.
This format of posts is fairly new at Travelling Camera. While searching for things to do at various places, we often came across lists that we found very useful. So we decided to create lists of places that we like. Some of them are mentioned below:
September proved to be a very literary month for us and all events we attended were either book launches or were related to literature in some way. But we are not complaining. It is always great to meet people who love books and writing.
No month can be complete without some quality time with family and friends. This month we visited Dalhousie and spent some time with VJ's 2-year-old niece Urvi. We visited Khajjiar and realized that it was the best place to photograph her in her various moods.
September was a happy month for us, for we were nominated for Libster Award. For this, we are eternally grateful to our friends and followers.
Also in news is our fellow travel blogger Siddhartha Joshi who is currently working on a 365 day project called "Tell me your dream". It is unique and inspiring. We wish him the best in his endeavour. Here is a bit about the project.
And to conclude, we would like to announce a new series on Travelling Camera. It is called "#MyCity". Under this series, we will publish photo journeys by people who wish to write about their cities. This series will go beyond the regular things-to-do posts and will help the readers explore secrets that only the city dwellers know of. If you know some hidden gems in your city, send us your photo journey and we will publish it under he #MyCity series. We invite all our guest bloggers and followers to contribute. If you have any questions, leave a comment on this post and we will get back.
Recently I visited Kolkata, and as advised by my blogger friends visited Kumartuli in the city. We spent half a day walking around the streets of Kumartuli, and discovered that it is not only about Idol making, but much more than that. Localities close to Kumartuli can educated one about Kolkata and its cultural inclinations. This Photo Journey shares some of the photograph's clicked by TravellingCamera in Kumartuli.
It's like stepping into culturally rich past of India. The only difference is that there skyscrapers all around and spidery bridges like veins running through city. I can't ask for better day at a new city. This Photo Journey shares some of the moments from Kolkata, the cultural capital of India.