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Rickshaw Pullers Felicitated At Photo Exhibition In Kolkata

The rickshaw pullers had their moments under the sun as they were given t-shirts, served blueberry cakes, and introduced to celebrities like actors Om Puri and Swastika Mukherjee.

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Image Source: Wikipedia
  • Part of a big project “Stone – Being and Becoming”, the 14-day exhibition that began on Friday, showcases 15 freeze shots of the hand-pulled rickshaw.
  • The rickshaw pullers had their moments under the sun as they were given t-shirts, served blueberry cakes, and introduced to celebrities like actors Om Puri and Swastika Mukherjee.
  • The hand pulled rickshaw has been a medium of conveyance in the city since 1914, three years after the national capital was shifted to Delhi from Kolkata.

KOLKATA: Part of a big project “Stone – Being and Becoming”, the 14-day exhibition that began on Friday, showcases 15 freeze shots of the slow-moving but environmental-friendly vehicles, which run through large parts of the eastern metropolis carrying passengers.These hand-pulled rickshaw, which has through the decades emerged as a symbol of Kolkata despite facing threats to its existence in an age of speed and mechanised transport, is the cynosure of all eyes in an ongoing photo exhibition depicting the trials and tribulations of the pullers.

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Clicked by Rajesh Gupta, an eye-catching photo captures a wheel of the rickshaw and the tired feet of a puller apparently resting on the vehicle.Another frame in black and white presents a row of rickshaws against the background of a desolate house enveloped by the gigantic roots of what could be an unseen grand old banyan tree.A third photo contains a melancholy portrait of a rickshaw puller sitting on the footrest of his vehicle with an intense gaze.
With some of the photographs bringing out the lonely existence of rickshaw pullers, Gupta said: “While interacting with them I realized that they don’t have any dream. They are forced to stay within their circle. Even if they want to come out of that circle, they can’t.”
Forty two of the rickshaw pullers were felicitated on Sunday at the exhibition venue – Harrington Street Art gallery.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The rickshaw pullers had their moments under the sun as they were given t-shirts, served blueberry cakes, and introduced to celebrities like actors Om Puri and Swastika Mukherjee. “Rickshaw pullers are intrinsic to Kolkata. Memorabilia, t-shirts everything talks about them. We wanted to glorify the real heroes of the city,” said photographer Kounteya Sinha, one of the key persons in the project.Om Puri, who once played the role of a rickshaw puller in Roland Joffe’s “City of Joy”, said: “Kolkata’s iconic rickshaw, which is part of its history, should never die.””In monsoons when the streets are flooded, rickshaws become the only mode of transportation” he said. Puri added that like Hong Kong, Kolkata should also make rickshaws a tourist attraction and allow them to function in limited parts of the city where they don’t cause hindrance to the traffic.

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The hand pulled rickshaw has been a medium of conveyance in the city since 1914, three years after the national capital was shifted to Delhi from Kolkata. Few years back the West Bengal government brought a proposal to ban rickshaws. But in the face of tremendous opposition from green activists, civil society and heritage experts, the decision was taken back.(Source: IANS)

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Best Indian Travel Bloggers to Follow on Instagram

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Indian Travel Bloggers
Indian Travel Bloggers are creating history with their travel stories. Instagram.

Travel Blogging is one of the most interesting and adventurous works, where you earn as well as travel to different places as a part of your work. Nothing can be more exciting than this.

In recent time, travel blogging has become popular among all the age groups. Whether it be a college-going student, retired person or someone from a middle-aged group, everyone is very fond of traveling. Here we bring you the stories of some crazy travel bloggers of different age who will surely inspire you to enjoy your life at fullest.

Below are some of the several Indian Travel Bloggers who are exploring out the world and are earning and are traveling all around the world. If you are a travel freak then you may follow them on Instagram also. 

Shivya Nath: The Shooting Star

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Shivya captures an early morning swim in Guatemala. Instagram.

At the age of 23, Shivya left her corporate job to travel the globe. She prefers to travel slow, experience the local aura, stay and connect with the people. She does the same with her award-winning blog called ‘The Shooting Star’. In 2013, she bagged the title of ‘Best Travel Blogger’ at the Indian Blogger Awards for sharing her knowledge and ideas on how to travel like a local. She is undoubtedly the best Indian Travel bloggers to be followed on Instagram.

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Shivya Nath is passionate about writing as well. Instagram.

Anuradha Goyal: AnuReviews, Inditales

Indian Travel Bloggers write about their travel diaries. Anuradha Goyal. Instagram

Since 2004, Anuradha Goyal has been passionate about sharing her life based on traveling and reading. Her book reviews are all lined under one blog called AnuReviews, and her travel stories are published on her different blog called Inditales. She is not only one of the niche Indian Travel Bloggers but has also authored the novel The Mouse Charmers – Digital Pioneers of India.

Indian Travel bloggers
Hong Kong island captured by Anuradha Goyal. Instagram.

Lakshmi Sharath: A travel blog of an Indian Backpacker

Indian Travel bloggers
One of the Indian Travel bloggers, Lakshmi Sharath posing in Canberra. Instagram.

Lakshmi Sharath is a multi-talented world traveler by being a media professional, a full-time traveler, blogger, travel content writer and also a photographer. Her blog named ‘A travel blog of an Indian Backpacker’ is based on her personal journeys worldwide and within India. In 2008, her blog was voted India’s best travel blog of the year. In 2014, she was featured internationally as one of the 100 travelers to follow on social media. She is one of the Indian Travel Bloggers as a ‘Perfectionist’.

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The sun plays hide and seek, says Lakshmi. Instagram.

Karthik Reddy: Romancing The Planet

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One of the finest Indian Travel Bloggers, Karthik Reddy in Istanbul. Instagram.

After completing his MBA in 2012, Karthik Reddy decided to leave his comfort zone and travel instead, to get along as one of the finest Indian Travel Bloggers. In his travel blog, Romancing The Planet, he intends to share his experience and explore the world by getting involved in the location in depth. Through traveling, Karthik Reddy enjoys his passion for all these different cultures and finds his own way of life. To learn a little more on what to do or even where to go, check out his blog and his newly made Instagram page.

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Karthik is one of the Indian Travel Bloggers who has his put up his new Instagram page. Instagram.

Sankara: Be on the road

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Sankara has his blog named as ‘Be on the Road’. Instagram.

Sankara is one of the top Indian travel bloggers who is also a biking enthusiast and blogger featured in various top media outlets. He specializes to show the beauty of the world in both texts and images through his writings and photographs. In his blog ‘Be on the road’, he writes about vegetarian cuisine, wildlife holidays and unique traditions. For those wishing to travel India and explore the Indian cultures, follow his Instagram today.

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Asia’s first Amphitheatre captured by Sankara, Indian Travel Bloggers. Instagram.

Ankita Sinha: Anki On The Move

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Indian Travel Blogger Ankita in NewJersey. Instagram.

Ankita Sinha has introduced to indulge her audience into adventure sports through her blog called Anki On The Move. It is probably one of the most classy adventure blogs where she pours out her words of ecstasy attained through traveling. She has been accredited for her writings and is one of the Best Indian Travel bloggers. You’ll get your adrenaline high by watching her videos of sightseeing and sports.

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Mammoth hotsprings captured by Ankita Sinha. Instagram.

Siddhartha Joshi: The Wanderer

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Indian Travel Bloggers like Siddhartha stroll in style. Instagram.

Siddhartha Joshi is one of India’s most successful and followed Indian travel bloggers on social media. He believes travel can break the barriers and increase your acceptance level. Through his writings and photos on his blog called ‘The Wanderer’, he desires to share his passion for humanity and traveling. Siddhartha Joshi’s biggest dream is to make the world reach no boundaries and that they can travel visa-free all around.

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Siddhartha Joshi is one of the most followed Indian Travel Bloggers. Instagram.

 -Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Kolkata Showcases in Top 100 Global Travel Destinations

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Kolkata
Whiteways and Laidlaw Building in Kolkata. Wikimedia

Oct 2, 2017: Kolkata is featured in the top 100 travel destinations globally alongside other Indian cities namely, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, and Bengaluru, as indicated by Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2017.

Chennai stands out in India, other than emerging among the top 10 destinations in Asia Pacific when it comes to overnight visitor arrivals.

Travel and tourism in India is on the rise, an authority of a main travel house in the city told PTI.

Durga Puja festival in Kolkata is a major attraction for foreigners with at least two- to three-day stay, he said.

Also Read:  Durga Puja Pandal Decoration Catches Cinema Style, Baahubali Palace Will Be In Cruise This Year In Kolkata 

According to the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017, there are no indications of the slowdown in travel and tourism in Asia Pacific with the region dominating visitor arrivals.

This is additionally affirmed with the main 10 cities in Asia Pacific destinations tracking the most noteworthy amount of global overnight visitor spending. Bringing USD 91.16 billion in travel use in 2016, Asia Pacific outpaced Europe (USD74.74 billion USD) and North America (USD55.02 billion), MasterCard said in an announcement.

Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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Kashmere Gate Durga Puja is the 108 Years Old Annual Ritual in Delhi

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Kashmere Gate Durga Puja
Durga Puja. IANS

New Delhi, Sep 24, 2017: Kolkata might be the cynosure of Durga Puja celebrations, but not far behind is the national capital, which plays host to more than 350 pandals (marquees). And the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja has been continuing this yearly ritual for the past 108 years, making it Delhi’s oldest Puja.

Its theme has always been traditional. From maintaining the quintessential “sabeki ek-chala-thakur” (traditional one platform) goddess Durga to carrying the idol in a bullock cart for the “visarjan” (immersion), this Puja stands out against the rest.

“The bullock cart visarjan is organised only by us. No other pandals organise such a procession in the national capital,” Samarendra Bose, a committee member of the Delhi Durga Puja Samiti, told IANS.

“And the Bhog! It is also a highlight of our celebration. Every year we feed the afternoon meal to around five to six thousand people. And on Ashtami (the eighth day), the turnout crosses more than 10,000. It’s a big responsibility on our shoulders and we make sure that everything goes smoothly during the Puja,” he said.

Also Read: Devotees Offer Prayers to Goddess Durga and Observe Fast for Nine Divine Nights, Starting Today

There’s quite a history attached to this Puja. Due to the efforts of an unnamed railway employee, the first Puja was organised in 1909 at the Roshanpura Kali Mandir near Nai Sarak. From 1913 to 1946, the Puja used to be organised in a dharamshala (community hall) near Fatehpuri Mosque. Later it was shifted to the Bengali Senior Secondary School at Alipur Road near Civil Lines but the nomenclature continued unchanged.

“In the initial years, the idol used to be brought from Benaras, but from 1926, the idol began to be made in the city itself. And now it’s made within the school premises,” Bose stated.

What hasn’t changed are the customs associated with the Puja. No matter how popular theme pujas are becoming, the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja continues to be a traditional one.

“Theme idols can never reflect the charm or the beauty of a traditional one. We don’t bring the idol from CR Park or Kolkata; rather it is made inside the school premises, like the way it happens in home Pujas,” Bose pointed out.

For the five days the Puja lasts, the atmoshphere within the pandal turns into a mini Bengal. From people clad in their traditional attire to cultural programmes and, of course, Bengali’s favourite cuisine — biryani — turns it into a major draw.

“We organise cultural programmes but only the local residents participate. We don’t invite artists (like most pandals do). Also, we make sure that at least during the five days, all the functions are conducted in Bengali,” Bose said.

The charm of this Durga Puja couldn’t even be ignored by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who visited the pandal in 1969. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is also believed to have attended the celebrations in 1935.

“The priest and the dhakis (drummers) have been brought from Kolkata. We make sure that there is no dearth of bhog. After all it’s a major attraction of Kashmere Gate Durga Puja,” Bose said.

So, make sure that Kashmere Gate Puja is on the must-visit pandals list this year! (IANS)