Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – April 2013

Summers are setting in, with a bundle of longer days and summer vacations. The Ghumakkars and their families have a good enough justification to be away from the scorching cities and find some relief in the cool environs of the hills. Europe is at its pleasant best, the severe Himalayan winters are over and it is just the best time to head to the Nilgiris before the monsoon makes it a bit adventorous. Looking forward to lots and lots of wholesome traveling in May 2013.

This is our monthly digest and I am very delighted and privileged to present to all of our readers a re-cap of month gone by. I would try to write more of these digests and hopefully our other Editors would also chip-in once in a while. Of course, our regular Editor for this piece, Archana, returns with May’s edition.

April 2013 was a great month for Ghumakkar.com. Let me share some statistics with you to quantify this. Between March 28 2013 and Apr 29, 2013, about 120,000 pages were read on Ghumakkar.com. So at some level, your stories touched all those who came here looking for info about a destination or advice on a particular route or just for reading pleasure. This is big and is about 8% more over the previous month. Thank you. I believe, it is the real ground-test-metric to measure the value of our contribution towards the greater good of ‘Traveling’. To make it even more joyous, we crossed 50,000 user base on our Facebook page. Wow! So we urge you to spread the word whenever your story is published next. Your story needs to go everywhere and hopefully more people would get inspired to head-out and travel more.

Now, lets go back a little and look at the great travel stories of April 2013. Praveen Wadhwa took us on a long walk, from Nanaksar to Tanakpur to Lohaghat to the real unknown high-reaches of Dharchula, taking a detour or two to Nepal in the process. In between, educating us on various herbs and the daily struggle and wins of local folks. Vishal, who debuted recently continued to dazzle us by his amazing shots and narrative of his ‘Ride to Ladakh’. If you haven’t read this series then I would strongly suggest it. Rakesh Bawa’s romantic journey of Kashmir continues along side Nirdesh’s polite (yet firm) take on monuments in Delhi and around. Nirdesh is now becoming a historian’s favourite and on my occasional talks to other Authors, his name keeps popping up. And to balance the top-heavy (aka North heavy) line-up, Venkat’s ‘Coorgi Delights’ with mouth-watering holidays are a treat to cherish.

Interestingly, no new Authors made a debut in April. In March, we had as many as 5 New Authors. We hope to welcome some new faces in May, 13.

Amid all this, we also had Mahesh’s series on ‘4 Dham’, Saurabh’s fleeting encounter with king of the Jungle, Vishal’s Rajasthan trip, Bidisha’s brilliant log on Muketshwar and Sushant’s log on ‘Photography’. Having so many logs doesn’t make the task of finding one easier but a editors panel has to do, what an editor panel has to do. So time to announce the ‘Ghumakkar Featured Story of the Month’ and the coveted winning story is “Qila Rai Pithora – the First City of DelhiBy Nirdesh Singh“.

“Qila Rai Pithora” is a log of ‘First City of Delhi’ in the background of historical nuggets, told in an engaging way, unfolding the cryptic and layered history of yester years.

To cite an excerpt

“If you are feeling even more adventurous then walk to the Mehrauli Idgah also called Ashiq Allah Dargah. Walk beyond the dargah with the Lal Kot Walls running to the right. Look out for thornbrush and the rocky terrain. There are unmarked graves all around. The grave caretaker who showed you the way around says Djinns haunt the place and they can be seen. You ask him if he meant to say that he spent forty one days in prayer like the dervishes do to be able to see and talk to Djinns. He says he means the Djinns of the night. Hair on your neck suddenly shoot up. Come to the point where the walls turn right towards Adham Khan Tomb. Climb the corner bastion and marvel at the greenery all around. This is the probable location of one of Lal Kot’s gates called Fateh Burj. In the north if you just look harder you can see Ghori’s army rolling in with captured Prithviraj Chauhan in chains. Also entering Delhi through the gate that day was the Muslim rule for the next 600 years until the British took over in 1857.”

Awesome view from Lalkot

Awesome view from Lalkot

Congratulations, Nirdesh and we hope to read the other cities of Delhi, including the current one, soon.

And now it is time to once again rejoice the ‘Featured Author of April 2013’. Amitava Chatterjee is our featured author for the current month and before you watch him pass the baton to ‘Featured Author of May 2013’, please find a link and an excerpt from the rewarding and hearty conversation we had with him, early in the month.

My travel partners

My travel partners

Ghum: So what prompted you to write?
Amitava: Manish Khamesra. I read his story on Kumaon. It was called “Berry lores of Kumaon”. I was completely fascinated with the ‘rich, detailed travel experiences’. I think he wanted to know about a flower and I responded. And so it all began. During the same time, we were about to go to Kolkata in few days time and were trying my best to convince my wife to go by car instead of Train. Finally, when I cancelled my tickets just a day before we were scheduled to depart, I decided to write about our experiences in this site. After some guidance from Manish through his post, I sent the draft to you.

Ghum: And as they say, rest is all history.
Amitava: Well, in my case it is not a very long time.

And now it is time to share with you the coveted winner of ‘Featured Author’ but before we do that, we wanted to share the monthly insights story with you. Sushant Singhal presented the 2nd episode of ‘Ghumakkar Insights Photography’ this month, with his focus on ‘lighting’. If you are serious about Photography and want to understand and foundation principles in a non-serious tone then do read.

Meter

Meter

To Quote from the story

यह तो आपने सुना ही होगा कि Photography दो शब्दों से मिल कर बना है – Photo = प्रकाश और graphy = recording / अंकन । मतलब ये कि प्रकाश के अंकन को ही फोटोग्राफी कहते हैं। हम मनुष्यों के लिये प्रकाश electromagnetic spectrum का वह छोटा सा भाग है जिसे हम अपनी आंखों से देख पाते हैं। electromagnetic spectrum परिवार की सदस्य अन्य किरणें ये हैं – Alpha rays, gamma rays, X-rays, ultra-violet rays, infra-red rays, radar rays और radio rays । X-Rays का उपयोग करके हमारे चिकित्सक हमारे शरीर के आन्तरिक कल-पुर्ज़ों का (I mean, internal organs का) चित्र लेते हैं क्योंकि x-rays हमारी त्वचा के आर-पार निकल जाती हैं। Ultra-violet rays काम-बिगाड़ू किरणें हैं जो हमारे चित्रों की स्पष्टता को (clarity) को कम करने के काम आती हैं! ये किरणें सर्दियों में और पहाड़ों पर अधिक पाई जाती हैं और atmospheric haze के लिये जिम्मे…

To read the complete story, please click here

And now without any more ado, we are very happy to announce the ‘Featured Author for May – 2013’, which is brave and adventurous Vipin Gaur. Clap Clap Clap.Vipin started writing for Ghumakkar in Januray 2012 and over last 15 months, he was been sharing his inspiring tales with fellow readers and been motivating and encouraging other Authors all through. His long unplanned and truly serendipity drive treks in Himalayas have been an inspiration for many of us. We would present more of him in our monthly interview. Congratulations Vipin.

That is it for this time. We wish to travel more with each one of you through your tales so when you write it, spread the word and hopefully it would lead to a high strength positive travel vibe. Till then, take care and travel more.

21 Comments

  • Saurabh Gupta says:

    First I would like to congratulate Ghumakkar family for the achievement and congrats to Mr. Vipin & Mr. Nirdesh for the featured author & featured story.

    Thanks Mr. Nandan to share all this.

  • Tarun Talwar says:

    Congratulations Vipin and Nirdesh Ji.

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Congratulations to Nirdesh and Vipin. Well deserved.

    Monthly digest is really a very good idea of recap of last month.

    Thanks NJ and Archana.

  • SilentSoul says:

    Many congrats to Nirdesh and Vipin.

    I am happy finally vipin gets this overdue title.

    ??????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ???? ??… ??????? 2, 4

  • Amitava Chatterjee says:

    Congrats Nirdesh & Vipin, on getting this well-deserved recognition…learned a lot through your posts…

    Look forward to the day to know more about you, Vipin…

    Thank you Nandan.

  • Rakesh Bawa says:

    Nandan Ji, Great write up.

    Congrats to Nirdesh Ji and Vipin Ji.

  • Vipin says:

    Thank you Nandan for the monthly digest…it’s been a pretty busy month, so missed out on some interesting stories here…Congratulation Nirdesh bhai, was super lucky to spend an amazing day with you at Mehrauli Archeological site, look forward to do more such walks with you in near future…thanks to ghumakkar once again that we met and explored together some forgotten masterpieces from the past…:)

    My heartfelt gratitude to Saurabh Ji, Tarun Ji, Abhi Ji, SS Saab, Amitava da, Nandan, Archana and all other fellow ghumakkars who supported from the day one…it’s because of your motivation that keeps the spirit of ghumakkari alive all the time…:)

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Nandan,

      As always a nice monthly digest from the editors.

      Also, thanks for all the supportive words from you and the fellow Ghumakkars. The feedback always acts as a propellant that makes me spend my sundays among the ruins.

      Vipin is an awesome Ghumakkar. Congratulations to you for being the Featured Author. Hope to spend more Sundays with you. An interesting thing happened during our outing together that day. I had taken some photos of different storeys of Qutb Minar from the Mehrauli Archeological Park. Next day while looking through the photos, I found a huge crack in the top floor. I immediately emailed ASI Delhi Circle with the photo enclosed. And then i got the biggest surprise – there was a return email from Chief Archeologist within two hours. He had written to his entire team and photographer to go to the site, inspect and photograph it and submit a report for suitable action to be taken. So things do move in govt departments. In fact those guys now know my name because of my frequent emails!

      These writeups are helping me discover how interesting history can be. I am just happy that people are enjoying them as much as I am enjoying writing them.

      Thanks again to every member of this community!

  • Congratulations Nirdesh and Vipin and thanks to Nandan for making extraordinary efforts to keep the Ghumakkar community together.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Many congratulations to Vipin and Nirdesh for their achievement.

    Thanks.

  • Many -many congratulations to Vipin and Nirdesh for the featured author & featured story.

    Thanks Mr. Nandan for sharing this with all.

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    ????? ??? ?? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ?????????? ……

    ??????? ???? ?? ?? ????? ????????? ?? ???….

  • Congratutions Nirdesh and thank you very much for sending e.mail to intimate ASI Delhi Circle about the huge crack in the top floor of Qutub Minar and a bit more thanks to Chief Archiologiest who responded so soon (otherwise : no such complaint has been received in the department, hum dekhenge, eska sangyaan lenge. Most of the high profiles reply in such polished words like “Neta’s” ha ha..)

    Congrat Vipin Gaur for featured story.

    Thanks Nandan for sharing this with ghumakkar family.

  • Thank you Nandan for this pleasurable write up and special thanks for including me therein.

  • Stone says:

    Congratulations everyone.
    Anxiously looking forward to know more about Vipin bhai.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @Saurabh – Thank you. You said it right that it is for the entire Ghumakkar family.

    @ Abhee – Thank you. We would keep this up. If you are looking for any more things which we should add then please write to me/Archana.

    @ SS – A lot of us are overdue :-). I think we all deserve it for the spirit and passion. ??? ???? ?? ? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ????? :-)

    @ Amitava – Thanks Amitava.

    @ Bawaji – You are being generous.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Vipin – Happy to read that you have been busy :-). Must be a great feeling to be on the road after the break. Look forward to know and learn more from you later this month.

    @ Nirdesh – The story and series deserved celebration. Thank you for educating us all around.

    @ PW – Thanks. Whatever I can do. :-)

    @ Naresh – Thank you dear.

    @ Ritesh – Thank you Ritesh. You have always encouraged and that is a brilliant thing in today’s world. Thank you.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Tridev – Thank you

    @ Sushant – ?????? ?? ?? ???? ?

  • Archana says:

    Congratulations to all the winners.

    And thanks to all the readers who have appreciated these winners and their posts through their heartfelt comments.

    @Nandan, a brilliantly written digest. Great job..

    Cheers all.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Archana – Better late than never. hehe. I know how much occupied you have been while the other two editors were on a long vacation to far away lands. Thanks for everything.

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