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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Tripping on this

Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times   January 26, 2013
First Published: 16:01 IST(26/1/2013) | Last Updated: 16:09 IST(26/1/2013)

The Wanderers Photo Club was started to promote offbeat locations in India and provide amateur photographers with a platform to showcase their work. As part of the ongoing exhibition called The Road Less Travelled, the club is showcasing photographs of one of their members in the city till January 27.

Images from photographer Atmaram Parab’s travels in India and abroad include those of the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India’s biggest monastery at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, and various others from wildlife destinations like Kenya and Tanzania. We got him to pick his top five offbeat destinations and explain what is so unique about them.

Living Root Bridge, Meghalaya
In the heart of North-East India, in one of the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya, bridges are made from the roots of the rubber tree.
To make them grow in the right direction, locals from the Khasi tribe use betel nut trunks, hollowed out in the middle to create a guidance system of sorts. The bridges gain strength over time and can carry up to 50 people at a time. The life of these bio-engineering wonders is estimated at 500 years.

Majuli, Assam
This island showcases Assamese Neo-Vaishnavite culture. It is amazing how the people here have kept their primitiveness and innocence intact for centuries. Local men keep their hair long and refuse to maintain a moustache in honour of Lord Krishna, who it is said, played here with his friends. In spite of being just about 160 kms away from Guwahati, locals here live a life untouched by modernity.

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam 
Ha Long Bay literally means ‘Descending Dragon Bay,’ and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It features thousands of limestone isles in various sizes and shapes and is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species. Beyond the breath-taking vistas visible on boat cruises through the Bay, visitors come to explore the caves, some of which are beautifully illuminated to boost tourism.

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The country is home to the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. Built by the Tamil king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was dedicated to Vishnu. The complex itself is built as a representation of the mythical Mount Meru. This is also why so many temples here are surrounded by moats, built in a mountain-like pyramidal shape and topped by precisely five towers, representing the five peaks of Mount Meru.

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Nubra Valley, Ladakh
This high-altitude cold desert is located at a height of 10,000 ft above sea level. It is the highest desert region in the world. It even has vistas like that of a desert found in Rajasthan, complete with sand dunes and double-humped camels. The valley is known for the fact that from the same place and at the same time, you can see water, trees, the desert, rocky areas and snow in various directions.

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The exhibition is on till January 27 at PL Deshpande Art Gallery, Ravindra Natya Mandir, near Siddhivinayak Temple, Prabhadevi. Timings: 11 am to 7 pm


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