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Omkareswar, Narmada River Boating

March 10, 2019 Leave a comment

Omkareswar

Narmada River Boating

Also see: Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Madhya Pradesh (MP)

Omkareshwar is a river island located in the middle of the Narmada River roughly at the mid point of its source in Amarkantak and its sea mouth in Baruch. The island measures 4 km in length and 2 km in breadth and houses two lofty hills.

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Boating in Narmada River, with Omkereshwar Island in the Background, Omkereshwar, Madhya Pradesh

When viewed from the top it appears to form the sacred Hindu symbol of Om and hence the name Omkareshwar. A sacred Hindu pilgrimage it houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and plays an important role in Narmada Parikrama, a pilgrimage consisting of a arduous trek along the bank of the Narmada River.

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Chao Phraya Express Boat

February 17, 2019 Leave a comment

Chao Phraya Express Boat

A river boat service in Bangkok, Thailand

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

My Heritage Walk of Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok started with a ride in the Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat and ended with a ride in the Chao Phraya Express Boat.

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Boats in Chao Phraya River, with Wat Arun in the background, Bangkok

No trip in Bangkok is complete with a boat ride in the Chao Phraya River. There are plenty of options starting from luxurious sun set cruise, which comes with a gala dinner to tourist boats with English speaking guides. Read more…

The Grand Palace, Bangkok, the Royal Residence of the King of Thailand

February 6, 2019 4 comments

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Royal Residence of the King of Thailand

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

The Grand Palace (Phra Boromma Maha Ratcha Wang) is a complex of palaces, temples, pavilions and stupas in the heart of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand . It is located on the banks of Chao Phraya River and is on the Ratanakosin Island. (Also see: Heritage Walk of Rattanakosin Island)

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The Grand Palace, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Thailand

The construction of The Grand Palace began in 1782 under Rama I, the founder of Chakri Dynasty. After overthrowing King Taksin, who ruled from Thonburi, on the other side of the Chao Phraya River, Rama I dug canals (Also see: Fortification of Bangkok) to set up the artificial island of Rattanakosin, his new capital.

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Heritage walk of Rattanakosin Island, Exploring Bangkok’s Royal Legacy

January 2, 2019 Leave a comment

Heritage walk of Rattanakosin Island

Exploring Bangkok’s Royal Legacy

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

The island of Rattanakosin has the Chao Phraya River on the west an on the other three side is the ring canal of Khalong Maha Nak. The canal was dug by Rama I (Reign 1782 – 1809) the founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom (Also see: Fortification of Bangkok).

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Bird’s eye view of Rattanakosin Island from Golden Mount, Bangkok

Today Rattanakosin is the hub of built heritage in Bankok and also house the Grand Palace, the royal residence of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. The canal measures 7.2 km and the island covers an area of 4.142 km2, so the best way to explore the Rattanakosin Island is on foot. 

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Benjarong Porcelain Crockery, first hand experience of porcelain painting

December 29, 2018 1 comment

Benjarong Porcelain Crockery

First hand experience of porcelain painting

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Benjarong literally means five colours (Benja = five, rong = colour) and is a form of traditional Tahi ceramic painting. The five primary colours consists of black, green, yellow, red and white which are mixed in different proportions to produce shades of other different secondary colours.

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The creation and the creator. Benjarong Porcelain Crockery, Bangchang Village, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Although a traditional Thai art the origin of Benjarong dates back to China. According to historical records it probably originated during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) in China.

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Fortification of Bangkok, tracking Bangkok’s Forts, City Walls and Moats

December 20, 2018 2 comments

Fortification of Bangkok

Tracking Bangkok’s Forts, City Walls and Moats

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Today Bangkok is a modern city with a few ancient temples, but on closer inspection one can find an unique series of defensive mechanism which one protected the ancient city. The defensive mechanism consisting of forts, defensive walls and moats, which were constructed over a period of several centuries.

Phra Sumen Fort Pano

Phra Sumen Fort, Bangkok (Photo edit Deepanjan Ghosh)

The structures started coming up during the late Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 – 1767) and continued till the present Rattanakosin Kingdom (started in 1782). Bangkok underwent rapid modernization beginning in the late 19th century, and by the 1920s most of the city’s original forts and walls had been demolished to make way for the construction of roads and buildings.

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Gotipua, majestic folk dance of Odisha

December 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Gotipua

Majestic folk dance of Odisha

See also: Sterling Resort Puri FAM

Their graceful steps and flawless acrobatics held everybody in rapt attention. The surprise and charm of the movements was heightened when the audience realised that the performers were actually young boys dressed up as females.

Tejasvni Ramesh, Rediscovering Gotipua, The Hindu

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Gotipua dance performance at the Sterling Resort, Puri

For centuries Gotipua dance have been performed in Odisha by young boys who are dressed up as girls to praise Lors Jagannath and Lord Krishna. It is a traditional dance form of Odisha and is considered as a precursor of classical dance of Odissi.

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