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The Serpent Guardians Of Indo China

Veneration of animals as symbols of powerful cosmic forces, far predated the advent of organised religion. The worship of serpents seems the most prominent and widespread among these animist beliefs, with evidence to suggest its practice across ancient civilizations ranging from the Hopi Indian tribes and Mayans in the Americas, to those in Egypt, India,…

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The Patterns Of Wat Sene

The Wat Sene Souk Haram (from the Sanskrit Sukharam) also known as the temple of 100,000 treasures, is one of many beautiful temples in Luang Prabang. Its facade and doors are heavily gilded and every inch of space on its walls, columns and even under its roof is covered with stenciled patterns. The secondary structures…

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Beng Mealea – Breathtaking Desolation!

Stepping on the ancient, lichen covered stones of Beng Mealea, in the deep, dark shadows of late afternoon, is almost meditative. No armies of tourists to vie with for the best camera angles here. Just us and a couple of nimble footed little descendants of the Khmer. Beng Mealea – meaning ‘Lotus Pond’ – situated 45 km East of…

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Luang Prabang – A Glimpse Of The Sacred

Vientiane was our decompression stop. With minds and bodies suitably attuned to the calm that forms the core of Lao lifestyle, we do nothing on our first evening in Luang Prabang, save for a brief foray into the night market, following a fabulous complimentary meal at our hotel. We have to drag ourselves away from breakfast overlooking the Mekong…

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Calling On Zeus

I am down to the last alphabet of Frizztext’s A-Z challenge, and I can’t think of a place to take you to, whose name starts with Z! Zurich is a dim memory with no images to give it a boost. Zanzibar still a distant dream. So I decided to go calling on the God of…

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Wat Xieng Thong – The Temple Of The Golden City

On a peninsula gently cradled in the palms of the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers, sits the picturesque royal city of Luang Prabang. And crowning it, like the mythical jewel on the forehead of a Naga, is the Wat Xieng Thong. A confluence of rivers is sacred to Asian communities. And that is the reason this auspicious spot was…

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Abydos & The Raising Of The Djed

The most interesting aspect of Egypt for me is the abundance of fantastic myths and stories along with a mind boggling array of Gods, almost rivaling those in the Hindu pantheon! And the most intriguing among them is the myth of Osiris and Isis. The story of the murder, dismemberment and subsequent resurrection of Osiris (long enough for sister/wife Isis, in the…

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The Twin Temples Of Abu Simbel

No history lessons today! There is plenty of that and fascinating details of the salvage and relocation of these amazing temples here and here.  This is an account of how we planned our visit. And what we would do differently if we are fortunate enough to return. There are two ways to get to Abu Simbel. Convoys – private and…

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Laitan Ancient Town

When we travel we try to seek out unique experiences outside the loop of standard tourist itineraries. A tough ask with our limited schedules, but we have been fortunate enough to have managed a few detours to some places less trodden. On our trip to the Middle Kingdom, one such detour led us to the Chongqing…

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