Visit Kolkata: Victoria Memorial

Visit Kolkata: Top sites you shouldn’t miss in India’s former capital

The name Kolkata is woven into the history of India. Formerly known as Calcutta, and once the capital of the British Raj, this sprawling city is located in the north-eastern state of West Bengal, close to the border with Bangladesh, and buzzes with energy and life. Kolkata has a reputation for extreme poverty and overwhelming sensation. Whilst the former is definitely true – poverty is[…]

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central asia heritage 1

Central Asia: rebuilding a heritage

I spent a couple of weeks this summer in Central Asia, visiting the Silk Road nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. These countries have had a chequered history. From a rich heritage as trading posts, and at the heart of Timur’s vast empire, all three nations have natural beauty but also magnificent historic cities, fortresses, mosques and madrassahs which play a substantial part in their[…]

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Turkistan and Otrar: Exploring Kazakhstan’s deep south

We arrived in Turkistan on a Thursday. It was our first day in Kazakhstan; after an overnight train journey from Bukhara to Tashkent, we took a private bus to the border. Kazakhstan was a shock to the system right away; very different from Uzbekistan, less Islamic and less developed, the wide open spaces and long distances were immediately striking. The drive north took us along[…]

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