Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Update 3

Travel Another India – An Update

I have so much to offer you in this update that I hope you will forgive the long gap since the last one. 
Inclusive Holidays
Where do I start? Perhaps at the highest point – Ladakh – the crown of India. We are partnering with PAGIR to create a holiday package for guests using wheelchairs, their families and friends.
PAGIR is a rights movement working to create a society that is inclusive of people with disabilities and free of prejudice. They do this by mobilizing people, campaigning on rights issues and accessing legal aid. Alongside, they address livelihoods of people with disabilities. Mr Mohammed Iqbal, President, PAGIR, recently won a CNN-IBN “Real Heroes” Award for his sterling work. You can see the video at

We have created a three and four-day package initially. Each stop on the itinerary has been carefully selected to ensure that it is accessible to guests using wheel chairs. Helpers have been trained on how best to help you in and out of the vehicle, up steps, etc. A detailed guide book will give you the extent of accessibility so that you can then decide on modifying the itinerary if needed. The packages have been audited by Access Ability, a group in Delhi headed by Shivani Gupta who specialise in suggesting ways of making tourist destinations accessible.

The package is called “Himalaya on Wheels”, HoW! Prices start from Rs.12,900 per person for a three day trip, excluding airfare. And we are open for bookings from 15th June. Find out more – or call me at 9940 559 513.

 Toy Town!
Bringing you down to the plains again, we offer you a home-stay at Channapatna – the toys town, a short drive from Bangalore. Allow Sahana & Srinivas to show you their town and its neighbourhood.

Toys, of course are high on the agenda. You could learn to make them or watch on while the artisans do. Or you could go relive Sholay. Or go birding. Or buy some silk. Or…
All of this while your hosts pamper you with simple Kannadiga food and perhaps some Kannada lessons…

If you just want to relax, sit on their large balcony with a book or play with their children – Kushal (age 8) and Diya (5 months old).

Sahana & Srinivas have built a spacious modern house on the outskirts of the town. They would like to share the second floor with you. It has a large room with an attached bathroom perfect for two people. Next door is a smaller room, decorated for their son, Kushal, with paintings of dinosaurs. If your kids are comfortable staying separately or if you are a group of friends, you could use this room as well. A large balcony is the perfect place to sit with a book or play a round of cards.

Your hosts will offer you typical Kannadiga vegetarian food including breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you still feel hungry, you can have the Channapatna chat or get some snacks specially made for you.
A day package will cost you Rs.800 per person and a weekend package, Rs.1500 per person – both exclusive of travel.

You will find more details and photographs at

Do or call me at 9940 559 513 if you want to find out more.

And finally, to help you better remember your travel, a photography workshop for beginners in Banavasi.

This photo expedition offers you an exclusive insider access to some of Banavasi’s most unique and visually compelling places. It will hone your skills, offer insights into photography. To help us and guide us in this expedition, we have with us Sreeya Sen (Photographer).

When asked - why this photo expedition? Sreeya said "My love for photography is deeply connected with the streak of wanderlust I have within me. My work mainly talks about my travels and the rich experiences, that I encounter while I am outdoors, which I then present to the world to see and hope, that they ‘feel’ just a small part of what my mind has perceived."

On this expedition we will visit special places like the Madhukeshwara Temple built in the 9th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva, meet with skilled potters, stone carvers, wood carvers, and discover the wonder and secrets of the craft world. A visit to the Rani Mahal near the Gudnapur Lake during twilight is a stupendous experience behind the lens. We are not even going to mention the variety in birds!

Guess what? We are not done yet. That’s right! Not till we find ourselves in Mundgod, a beautiful slice of Tibet in Karnataka, that leaves one with a surreal experience.

For whom: Anyone with a camera (over 18) who wants to do more

When: 19th & 20th June 2010

Where: Banavasi, Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka

How Much: Rs.4900/- only per person

For: All meals, stay, transport to places mentioned in itinerary
Not for: tickets to Banavasi, pick up & drop at railway station/bus stop, anything else not specifically mentioned

To know more or +91 9940 559 513

Finally, let me introduce our three new colleagues to you. Rekha Shenoy has joined at Leh to provide full time support to PAGIR in setting up HoW! Vijay Pamarathi is providing support to Banavasi and marketing in Bangalore. And Tamanna Mohapatra is our woman in the USA!

We have a facebook page and we are on twitter - @anotherindia. Our blog is ready to feature your travel writings, photo essays, comments, recos, etc. Talk to us, any which way you like!

Standard declaration

We end this Update with further requests for your time:

First, may we continue to send you quarterly updates on our work? (No response will be treated as a resounding YES!) We have been warned that if we don’t get your permission, our domain could be blacklisted for spamming!

Second, are there any of your family or friends who would like to receive updates about Travel Another India – especially about new destinations? Please send us their email ID. We assure you that we will first get their consent before adding them on to our mailing list.

Finally, are there any places that you would like to recommend to us to add to our list of Responsible Destinations? It could be an existing destination, tourism venture or it could be a destination that you visited which you believe has potential or would add to our portfolio. Our criteria are simple and just three:

  1. Is the place easily accessible by tourists? And are there tourists nearby? Our definition of “easily accessible” is to be within a two hour drive of an airport or railway station or within 5-6 hours drive of a large city.
  2. Is the place safe? No terrorism? Naxalism? Caste, religion, political party violence?
  3. And perhaps most important, is there a local host who has a strong sense of ownership and pride in the destination who would be willing to ensure that the guests experience the culture, cuisines and comfort of the destination? The host could be an individual or a group based at the destination.

Do write or call – we are waiting to hear from you.

Gouthami – +91 9940 559 513 –

@anotherindia,, facebook page

May 2010

Design and Layout: Naga Nandini

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