Starbucks offline Location tagging

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Starbucks advertising its location near a very touristy spot in Prague (where everyone was walking around with spiced hot wine and some very greasy snacks).

 

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Artists of Kutch

Kutch was an unpredictable trip. I was fascinated with the idea of vast salt lands drenched in moonlight with the pleasant breeze of mild winters. While I did manage to experience the beauty, I was in for a surprise. With increasing marketing of Kutch tourism over the years, the place was flooded with tourists, luxury tents and innumerable handicraft shops selling similar popular products.

And the entry to the open lands was closed before midnight. So it wasn’t really a peaceful trip I had hoped for. However, I found something else more interesting. The art and craft of Kutch.

I met a few artists through the journey. Some were unplanned encounters, some recommended by our local driver and a part of popular Kutch travel itinerary. These artists and their art stayed with me.

 

Pottery

We met a popular local artist who lives with limited means but practices his art with dedication. He sells his creations across the country through various exhibitions. His family helps him with pottery. While he mainly works on creating the items, other members of the family prepare the clay and paints the final products with delicate designs in black and white colors.

 

Rogan Art

We met a family preserving the unique Rogan art. The art form is preserved by the family and kept within the family. The new generations continue to learn and join hands with their elders to make exquisite pieces of hand painted creations. Their most popular work is the tree of life in various vibrant colors. Our favourite moment spent with them was when he demonstrated a small flower motif using Rogan art.

 

Ajrakh Blockprints

The geometric patterns printed through wooden blocks are popular fabric designs in India but I didn’t know how and where they are made. We made an unplanned visit to this workshop on our way to another destination. It was late evening and there wasn’t enough time to sit chatting with the artists. But we managed to take a quick tour of the place. I almost felt dizzy looking at the fabric spread on long wooden tables with repeated prints.

 

 

 

Ocean Waves

I visited Sri Lanka in monsoons. There were limited tourists; the water was rough and the sky was cloudy.

The beach town was covered in different and new colours. Sometimes the view was covered in a sharp yellow of sunlight but mostly it was dull grey. The water was deep blue at times and a deep grey at other times. Often enough, the waves were scary rough.

I had fun taking pictures of the beach and waves in monsoons.

 

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While I had heard of Stilt fishing, I came across this view without planing during a drive down the coastal road.
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The water was rough and fishing was on halt that day. Many fishing boats remained floating near the beach.
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Found this while driving down the coastal road.
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View from an unplanned stopover on the way.
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While we were chilling at the beach staring at the waves.
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Waiting for sunset
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Morning tea at the beach.
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Blue water on a rare afternoon with no clouds.
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Waiting for lunch… given the weather, the beach restaurants and cafes were empty… the only sound I could hear was that of the crashing waves.

 

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka was a very interesting destination for me, not just because it’s a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean but also because of its ties to the ancient mythology of Hindus. Many believe that there exists a bridge made of stones that allowed Lord Ram to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita. The geography of Sri Lanka is very similar to the South Indian state of Kerala. The people, clothes and food are similar to the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The dominant religion in Sri Lanka is Buddism. I had read about it but I wasn’t expecting to see it as the central tourist theme as well.  One can see a Buddha statue around every corner. There are huge statues and temples everywhere. The statues are visible from a distance and you are left with an overwhelming feeling when you stand next to them looking up. They seem to touch the sky.
Here are a few pictures from Buddha temples I visited in Sri Lanka.
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