A Tiger at the Ranthambhore National Park

The fight for conserving wildlife and the habitat of tiger is on. Click to checkout my series of articles over the Aircel Save our Tigers Campaign !

Purna Kumbha Mela - 2013 (Allahabad)

A Sadhu (Ascetic) sitting by the banks of the Sangam (Confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati). Click to read my travelogue over this ancient and enduring event.

Sikkim Sojourn

Perched on the lap of Eastern Himalayas and next to Mt Kangchenjunga is Sikkim, one of the most pristine places on the planet. Click to read my informative travelogue over this beautiful destination.

Picture of the Week (Friday's)

Pic Info - Jal Mahal (Water Palace), Jaipur (India)

Bastions of Tughluqabad Fort

Built by Sultan Ghiyath ud din Tughluq around 1323 A.D., and abandoned within 4 years, it was the fourth city of Delhi. This fort is remembered by many to have been cursed by Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

World Heritage Week - Nov 19 to Nov 25, 2014

From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan to the destruction of the remains of the Mesopotamian civilization by ISIS, from the callous construction of the 1982 Asian Games Village over the ruins of the former city of Siri to the encroachment and vandalism by people of our monuments.. These are the issues and the mindsets which are attempt to be tackled during the World Heritage Week which is being celebrated from November 19 to November 25.

Ruins of the 3rd city of Delhi called Darul Khilafat (popularly known as Siri) (Const 1303 AD)

The chief purpose of celebrating the World Heritage Week is to increase awareness and encourage people about the preservation and safety of the cultural heritage and monuments of our nation and the world. To understand our ancient/medieval/modern cultures, heritage and traditions it is very important that we protect and preserve the priceless historical monuments and preserve the rare cultural and traditional practices which are the treasures of the human civilization.

Graffiti is something people, strangely, love to indulge in, with respect to historical monuments
 (Domes of the Begumpuri Masjid, Const 14th Cent AD)

In the modern times people, in their thirst for modernization and development, conveniently forget how much important it is to preserve our cultural and historical heritage. In the last walk conducted by Roots (Travel Group) we had observed how badly people had encroached upon the remains of the former city of Siri.

Time claws away our monuments, brick by brick. So, if we do not take steps at restoration of our monuments then they might be lost to us forever (A collapsed ceiling of Begumpuri Mosque, 
Const 14th Cent)

Historians, Archaeologists and Heritage Enthusiasts/Lovers are coming forward to raise the banner of conservation of heritage (for our future generations) by conducting special walks, events and exhibitions and through them trying to raise the levels of awareness of Heritage amongst the people. Their efforts, i believe, should be lauded !

The solitude and desolation of our monuments is often exploited by alcoholics and drug addicts who indulge in their addictions inside them, make such places their dens, forbid people from visiting those monuments and spread considerable litter (Western Settlement, Sultan Ghari) (Const 17th-18th Cent)

While Roots is not an out and out heritage group, but we do respect and understand the value of heritage. And keeping in mind our vision of exploring the unexplored we go to those monuments those ruins which people usually skip, the biggest example being the Siri Fort walk we did on November 16.

The canopy above the tomb of Ruknuddin Firoz, near Sultan Ghari would have collapsed due to cracked beams had ASI not built extra pillars to support the cracked beams. (Const around 1240 AD) 

Keeping in mind the reasons for celebrating the World Heritage Week and the fact that we were unable to do any event to support the cause during the week, we would like to dedicate our Panipat-Sonipat Trip (to be held on Dec 13, with an aim to highlight the very ignored heritage and cultural aspects of Haryana) and the Legacy of Delhi walks (whose aim is to make people aware of the unknown yet incredible heritage of Delhi namely the former 8 cities of Delhi) to the main cause of the World Heritage Week, to create Heritage Awareness.

Our monuments are very popular picnic spots but the flip side of it is that people chuck litter all around. It only shows that lack of respect and awareness towards the monuments, a problem which is attempted to be solved by the World Heritage Week

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Note - All pictures are copyrighted in the name of Rohan Anirudh Singh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Lonely Planet India Unexplored Contest 2014



Some Facts- India is the seventh largest country in the world, has one of the oldest civilizations in the world, has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, has one of the most diverse wildlife in the world, is a pot pourri of multiple cultures and cuisines (something which cannot be found in any other country in the world).... and yet the number of visitors who arrive in India from abroad is one-third to the number of visitors who go to Hong Kong, China (a region whose population and total area is lesser than that of Delhi, the capital of India) as per the figures of United Nations World Tourism Organization !


Clockwise from Left - Prithviraj Chauhan Smarak (Ajmer), Poddar Cenotaphs (Ramgarh Sethan, Shekhawati Rajasthan), Yumthang Valley (North Sikkim), Kumbhalgarh Fort, Baglep (Tibetan Cuisine), Velankanni Beach (Tamil Nadu)

The limited number of tourists who come to India make a beeline to Taj Mahal (Agra), Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur, Goa and some of the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Khajuraho, Hampi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Shore Temple e.t.c. The domestic tourists of India make a beeline to the same destinations which I just mentioned apart from hill stations like Shimla & Mussourie (popular with Delhi-ites), Darjeeling, Gangtok, Pelling (Popular with Kolkata-ns), Ooty and Kodaikanal (popular with Chennai-ites) and Coorg (popular with Bangaloreans).

Buddhist Monasteries (of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Spiti Valley), Jhansi Fort, Surajkund Reservoir, Baoli of Farrukhnagar, Basilica of Our lady of Graces (Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh), Murals and Frescoes across the Streets of Ramgarh Sethan, Chand Baoli (Abhaneri), Sheesh Mahal (Farrukhnagar)

While the mass of tourists concentrate on these and some other destinations only, the rest of India remains Unexplored. Destinations like the murals and frescoes of the bylanes of Shekhawati Rajasthan, the stepwells of Gujarat, majority of beaches of Karnataka, majority of the forts of Maharashtra, the blue hills of Mizoram, the monasteries of Arunachal Pradesh and Spiti Valley, the temples of Chhatisgarh (Sirpur, Bhoramdev e.t.c.) and stupas of Bihar are just a few of the numerous destinations which are still waiting for travelers so that they can come and admire 'their' magnificence and might too.

Clockwise from Left - Streets of Churu (Shekhawati Rajasthan), Citadel of Ajabgarh Fort, Lal Kot (the first fort of Delhi), Pataleshwar Temple (Pune), Pandeshwar Temple (Hastinapur), Minor Rock Edict of Ashoka (Garhi, Delhi), Gurudongmar Lake (North Sikkim)

Lonely Planet India has started a wonderful initiative in the form of a contest called 'India Unexplored' where travellers are encouraged to send in their entries of places or destinations which have been unexplored as of yet. Apart from submitting entries about a destination, one can also submit entries about 'activities' which can be done in unexplored places (like the Chadar Zanskar Trek), 'Eateries' which are really good but not in the knowledge of the visiting tourist and local 'markets' or 'shops' where one can go for shopping ! While this is a great oppurtunity for travellers to submit entries about places which are rarely visited and win Cool Prizes, this is also an awesome oppurtunity for people who want to know more about India (and wish to gather knowledge about the various unknown destinations which are not in the bucket list of the normal tourist) as all the information would be available at one place - the India Unexplored Site apart from the Lonely Planet books off course !!

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'Path Rarely Taken' believes in exploring the rarely visited places and bring them to the notice of the world and so it supports the India Unexplored contest as it has the same philosophy as the blog !

Friday, October 10, 2014

Picture of the Week #104 - Kuha Karuhas Pavilion in Phraya Nakhon Cave


Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh
Located in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (near Pranburi, can also be reached from Hua Hin) in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, this cave has a mystical touch to it. A cave which has formations of both stalactites and stalagmites has a sense of peace which can't be matched anywhere in Thailand. The fact that the Kings of Thailand used to come here regularly (and erected the golden pavilion) stands as a testament to that fact.
The Phraya Nakhon Cave is undoubtedly on of the 'best' places to visit in Thailand !

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This post marks 2 years of the series which has captured the lengths and breadths of India, various landmarks in Australia, Italy, Denmark e.t.c. (Thanks to Traveler Richa!) and Thailand. 
A lot of effort has gone into presenting the sights and the information (about it) to you in the best and concise-est possible manner ! Hope that you have loved the journey uptill now and are raring to go ahead because we are :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Picture of the Week #103 - Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho (Bangkok)


Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 26, 2014

Picture of the Week #102 - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Ratchaburi


Damnoen Saduak is one the most famous floating markets in the world. The items which are sold from boats and shops (on the banks of the waterways) include fruits, vegetables, Thai fast/street food (i am inclined to use the term floating food rather than street food as it is sold from boats) and souvenirs.
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 19, 2014

Picture of the Week #101 - Thanon Sukhumvit (Road), Bangkok


Also known as Thailand Route 3 the Sukhumvit Road is one of the major commercial hubs in Bangkok and thus in Thailand. It starts from Bangkok itself and runs uptill Cambodia while running parallel to the coast.
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 12, 2014

Picture of the Week #100 - Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat, Bangkok (1882 AD)


Phra Thinang Chakri means 'Seat of the Chakri Dynasty' (the monarchs of Thailand). This is the Throne Hall of the Rulers of Thailand.
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh