Namaskar!

Many people do not know it, but India is one of the world's oldest civilisations. It has been the birthplace of many fundamentals recognised by today's society, in science and in the arts. After traveling tirelessly around India and immersing myself in its flavours and traditions, I wanted to bear witness to its incredibly rich cultural and spiritual heritage. If this website sparks a desire to pack your bags and set off for an Indian adventure, it will have achieved its purpose. Have a good trip around the website and pleasant wanderings in the sacred land of Bharat!

The Himalayan range that surrounds northern India is considered the home of the god Shiva, one of the three gods of the Trimurti (the Hindu trinity). It is therefore not surprising to find there many places of pilgrimage associated with the lord of Mount Kailash. The “Panch Kedar”, in the state of Uttarakhand, are one of them. “Panch” means “five” in Hindi, and Kedar is another name for Shiva. The Panch Kesar therefore designate five highly sacred places dedicated to the worship of Shiva. They are: Kedarnath, Madhmaheshwar, Tungnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar.

Kutch (Kachchh), is an amazing district located in the northwest of the state of Gujarat. The proximity to Sindh and the region’s ideal location on a navigable stretch of the Arabian Sea have made the district of Kutch the hub of cultural exchange which is reflected in its motley population. There are about fifty different ethnic groups in Kutch, without counting the many subdivisions, which is to say that it is impossible to mention them all in this article, so my choice fell on the most emblematic people of the region, namely Meghwals, Jats, Ahirs and Rabaris.

While strolling through the cities of Rajasthan, perhaps you have already noticed this pentagonal wooden decoration placed above the front door of a house. This element called “Toran” or “Torana” is an integral part of Hindu wedding ceremonies in Rajasthan and, under its simple appearance, it has a strong symbolism.

The climate has always been one of the determining factors for the design of living spaces. Thanks to very specific construction technologies, the haveli, translated as “mansion” in English, is an ingenious architectural response to the extreme climatic conditions of the regions of Rajasthan, providing passive means of heating and cooling, while respecting the environment. Thus, this type of residence, which sometimes takes on a palatial appearance, was, long before the term was used, a bioclimatic building and a model of sustainability that still inspires nowadays architects.

India celebrates more than 10 million weddings each year, which means that the wedding industry is doing well in the country of Gandhi ; with an annual turnover of 50 billion euros per year, it is the most largest marriage market after the United States (70 billion). No need to say that marriage is the most important ceremony in the lives of Indians. It varies from region to region and includes a myriad of highly codified rituals. In this article, I will stick to the Hindu marriage celebrated in Rajasthan and more particularly to that of the region of Mewar (Udaipur), where I live.

For the Bishnoi people, whose origins date back to the 15th century, ecology does not need to be taught, it is innate; it is a dharma (duty) that in the past has caused them to sacrifice their own lives to save trees. Due to this, they are referred to as “India’s first environmentalists”. In the 20th century, their activism inspired the “Chipko” movement, formed by a group of village women in Uttarakhand who opposed commercial logging by “hugging the trees”.

Rajasthan is often associated with the arid lands of the Thar Desert. But the “land of the kings” is crossed by the Aravalli mountain range which, during the monsoon, is wonderfully green. This the case of Banswara, located in the extreme south of Rajasthan that welcomes each year abundant rains, thus its nickname: the “Cherrapunji of Rajasthan”. In addition to its natural beauty, the city has a distinct entity linked to the Bhil community, the majority ethnic group of the region, which fought against the feudal system of the Maharawals and the British Raj.

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