The hills of Shatrunjaya, in the Indian state of Gujarat, are home to the holiest pilgrimage site in the Jain religion. Discover the reality of climbing the 3300 steps to the hilltop temple, and why the temple complex is absolutely worth the effort! | Shatrunjaya Gujarat | Palitana pilgrimage | Jain religion | Jain pilgrimage Shatrunjaya | Gujarat India |

Shatrunjaya: Exploring the Jain pilgrimage site of Palitana, Gujarat

We arrived at Shatrunjaya early in the morning, and it was just as well. Situated in the town of Palitana, just over an hour’s drive from Bhavnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat, Shatrunjaya holds tremendous significance to followers of the Jain religion. A massive temple complex built on top of a hill that dominates the surrounding landscape, 23 of the 24 tirthankars who[…]

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One of Dharavi slum's many pottery communities

Dharavi slum: The entrepreneurial heart of Mumbai

Slumdog Millionaire. That is what most people know of Dharavi slum. Images of young boys running barefoot through narrow alleyways, of poverty and hardship. Or maybe you picture rough shanties leaning up against the railway lines. However you’ve heard of Dharavi, the images it conjures are bound to be negative. I’ve visited slums before, notably Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, so was keen to experience what[…]

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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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Monkey Temple, Shimla

Monkey business: or why monkeys aren’t as cute as they seem…

Now, if you’re anything like me, you grew up thinking that monkeys were cute. I mean, what’s not to like? They’re fluffy, with long tails to swing from trees, plus they have tiny hands just like ours on their feet. They tick every box. Then I started travelling. To be fair to monkeys, they probably are cute, deep down. The trouble is that we have invaded[…]

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A blessing from Mother Ganges

Evening is falling, and I am in a boat on the Ganges. We are in Varanasi, and have made our way downtown by cycle rickshaw, two of us ladies squeezed into a seat which was surely made for narrower hips than ours, pedalled through slums and down busy city streets to the river’s edge. It’s late March and the air is warm; the lights on the[…]

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