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- Game of Thrones is a popular television series, currently airing its seventh season
- The study has been carried out by a travel expert company, Hotels.com™
- Sudden splurge in tourism is often attributed to popular television series being shot there
New Delhi, July 24, 2017: Planning your next vacation? Why not head to the camel-colored castles at King’s Landing where your favorite character, Ed Stark was beheaded to death?
If you are a fan of present-day television series, you will be aware of a show called Game of Thrones, which has won hearts of millions across the globe, making it a cult classic. Right from the show’s inception in 2011, it has been shot at a variety of locations that are not as fictional as one may assume.
The exotic locales that have featured evidently in the series, and those that are anticipated to make a mark in the seventh season being aired currently, have sparked a new trend, making travelers pack their bags and depart for the sets.
A recent study by the travel expert, Hotels.com™ found that Northern Ireland, Croatia, Spain, and Iceland, where major segments of the series have been shot, have seen a rise in popularity in response to the TV show that has sparked the imagination of millions around the world.
If you are a member of the tribe that thrives on pop-culture, binge watches every season and episode of Game of Thrones, or are simply a curious traveler, then listed below are popular vacation spots that are bound to take you to the magical land of Sansa Stark and Jon Snow.
Having been a host to various television and motion pictures alike, Iceland has arguably seen a dramatic rise in travel searches ever since it marked its presence on Game of Thrones, making it one of the most sought after holiday destinations.
According to figures provided by Hotels.com™, the scenic destination is up over 285 percent ever since the show created ripples in the television landscape in 2014.
Places like Mývatn and the Vatnajökull glacier, where landmark scenes have been shot ‘North of the Wall’, have now come to the radar of curious travelers. One of the largest glaciers of Europe, the glacier makes 8% of the country and adds on to the chilling setting of the show.
In another year-on-year (2017 vs 2016) comparison data, Iceland continues to see an upward trend as the destination shows a 30 percent increase as fans set to visit the caves of Grjótagjá, among other places to bask in the valor of places visited by popular heart-throb Jon Snow.
Fans are now increasingly choosing to explore the many breathtaking scenes of the Croatian coastline, another key filming location, depicted in the series. No Game of Thrones’ fan would want to miss visiting Trsteno Arboretum that made for the garden of King’s Landing, where some of their favorite characters like Sansa Stark, Tyrion Lannister, and Olenna Tyrell have strolled.
Dubrovnik in Croatia is rumored to be the filming host for the anticipated King’s Landing in season 7 of the show. One look and you are sure to be mesmerized by the massive stone walls that line the city. Dubrovnik, which was the host to some scenes portraying the Red Keep, is a popular tourist attraction and is usually bustling with activity.
- Krka National Park
Another key shooting location has been the Krka National Park which makes repetitive appearances throughout the Seven Kingdoms. If you’re keen on visiting the waterfalls of Westeros, you must visit Krka National Park, which has witnessed a 46 percent rise in search traffic according to New York based Travel+Leisure Magazine.
- Split (King’s Landing)
Beyond the museums and the cathedrals of Croatia’s second largest city, stands Diocletian’s Palace and the scenic landscape that makes Split one of the fascinating places for visitors. GOT fans can instantly recognize the place featuring Cersei Lannister from season five.
The ancient city of Split on the Dalmatian coast and the city of Šibenik continue to be the most sought after locations, with both witnessing an uplift of nearly 120 percent and 60 percent respectively. If you are wondering, the city of Split is host to the Mother of Dragon’s throne room while parts of Šibenik comprise the famous city of Braavos.
- Alcázar of Seville
With searches to the destination up 145 percent, Spain has also witnessed a dramatic surge in travel-search figures. Fans are increasingly planning thought-out vacations to locations in and around Spain to set foot in some of their favorite on-screen locales like the Water Palace of Dorne which is home to the House of Martell, scenes of which were filmed at the Alcázar of Seville in Spain.
- Bardenas Reales (Dothraki sea)
This spectacular desert-like region stretching over 100,000 acres will make all Khaleesi fans feel at home. The landscape, which precisely defines the GOT universe, ranks among one of the few desserts of Europe with spectacular formations and a delicate environment.
Northern Ireland which boasts of some of the world’s most picturesque natural beauty, was bound to play host to several of the series’ iconic scenes.
Among all the other locations that Spain has to offer, Belfast has maintained a premier position at the top of the fans’ lists. With searches for Belfast hotels ranging up nearly 120 percent even before the seventh season premiere, the destination is sure to host a growing tribe of the television series’ viewers in 2017.
- Castle Ward (Winterfell)
Every GOT fan’s travel bucket-list features a visit to the forests of Winterfell that were shot at and around Castle Ward, and Downhill Stand, a beach in northern Ireland, where the burning of the Seven took place. The place will take fans back to a young Jon Snow and the beginning of this archery practices – which was filed at the historic farmyard of Castle Ward.
Among other places, major chunks of HBO’S most popular television series have also been shot at the island country of Malta. Featured in the first season, the Azure Window was essentially the site of the Dothraki wedding. Surrounded by water around the arch, the destination adds to the quintessential charm of the hit series.
Adding on to the list is another picturesque destination of Morocco. Many of the scenes filmed for cities together constituting the Slaver’s Bay were filmed at the fortified city of Ait-Ben-Haddou in Morocco.As for fans wanting to visit the ‘Greatest City That Ever Was or Will Be’, popularly known as Qarth, a trip to Lokrum Island in the Adriatic Sea will be a treat to the eyes.
This walled city can be recalled from season one, from parts of the King’s Landing. Scarcely populated, the city of Mdina may not require more than a day for your visit, with a few cathedrals, museums and pretty streets to its credentials.
“As experts in accommodation and enthusiasts for travel, we’re thrilled to be able to facilitate memorable, rewarding stays for those who want to get close to the action. Along with so many around the world, we look forward to season seven and to enjoying the stunning locations in which it’s filmed,” said Hotels.com™ Director Regional Marketing Greater China, SEA and India at Hotels.com™ brand, Jessica Chuang, as told to ANI news.
While the trend to visit places where popular television series and motion pictures have been shot is not new, it sure has witnessed a sudden surge in the commercial market with fans around the world making a pilgrimage to sets all over the globe to experience their favorite television series more closely.
We also take a look at accommodations close to the filming locations that offer comfortable experiences to visiting GOT fans-
- Seville / Spain: Water palace of Dorne
In the hit series, the city of Seville hosts the Water Palace of Dorne, parts of which were shot at Alcázar de Seville.
Popular options for stay: Hotel Boutique Elvira Plaza
Right in the center of Seville, this 3.5-star hotel makes for a comfortable stay at Dorne. Right in the vicinity of the Alcázar, the home of the House of Martell, the hotel makes for a beautiful combination of traditional flavor and modernity.
Accommodation at Hotel Boutique Elvira Plaza is available from Rs. 5,885 per room per night.
- Myvatn / Northern Iceland: Beyond the Wall
The scenes beyond the Wall have been filmed at different locations around northern Iceland, the key locations being Myrdalsjokull glacier and the Vatnajokull glacier.
Popular options for stay: Foss hotel
The trendy yet sophisticated 3 star Foss hotel is a must for every GOT fan that is adventurous, alike located at a 30 minutes walking distance from Lake Myvatn, the scene of all action. A spectacular structure with wide options in room selections and suites, it would make the right choice.
Accommodation at Foss hotel is available from RS 16,284 per room per night.
- Belfast / Northern Ireland: The Iron Islands
The rugged landscape of Belfast provides a scenic venue, attracting both, the film-makers and tourists. Another key source of attraction, which is almost always brimming with actors and fans alike is the production studio at Titanic Quarter with a replica of the Iron Throne, where major parts of the series are shot.
Popular option to stay at Melmaison Hotel
This 4-star hotel is a fine example of history meets contemporary style. Inspired in proportion by the illustrious Titanic which was Belfast’s most celebrated ships, the hotel is well well connected to prime tourist spots and stands at a stone’s throw from the most interesting commercial area, bars, and clubs of the land.
Accommodation at Malmaison Hotel is available from Rs. 7,977 per room per night.
- Essaouira / Morocco: Astapor
A large chunk of season three has been shot in Essaouira which introduces to the viewers the Slaver’s city of Astapor, where lies the home of the Unsullied army.
Popular option to stay at Dar L’Oussia
A 4-star hotel, overlooking Astapor is well connected to the beaches, fishing port, and the souks, keeping you in close proximity to the area where most of the filming took place. Some of the rooms are beautifully done in traditional Moroccan style, giving you a true experience of an African holiday.
Accommodation at Dar L’Oussia is available from Rs. 5,046 per room per night.
– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
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"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.