Trip of the Year

One line, many dimensions – Along the Tropic of Cancer


Most of us have taken holidays on a beach. While relaxing on those white sands, how often have you thought of a journey which would have some more grit in it ? How often have you seen BBC correspondents covering unique stories in unheard-of places and imagined “this is what I should be doing”? How often have you thought of leaving it all behind and taking the first bus out to wherever it goes ? If you have dreamt of such moments, then read on. Otherwise, we would redirect you to Goa.

“From the Arabian Sea to the border between India and Myanmar, the journey covers a distance of almost 4300km…”

On a once-in-a-lifetime journey, we will take you along a line that connects places that would otherwise be extraordinarily different and diverse. The Tropic of Cancer divides India almost equally into two and is remarkable in the locations that it connects.From the Arabian Sea to the border between India and Myanmar, the journey covers a distance of almost 4300km and explores how uniquely different the West is from the East (no pun intended) and how much more there is to India than outsourcing, IT, economy, snake charmers or elephants.

The journey is divided into 3 chapters. You can choose to travel on all 3 chapters, any 2 consecutive chapters or along a single chapter.

Chapter I – Across Gujarat: Your journey starts from close to the Western border of Gujarat. On a no-moon day you might be able to see the lights of Karachi, Pakistan from Lakhpat. You then wind your way through a region that is known for the myriad hues and precise prints. Speaking with hands, craftsmen here would create carpets and wearable prints of such fine quality that it is constantly exported. Learn more about these arts whilst also visiting the stories that the various temples and palaces of Gujarat speak of.

Chapter II – Central and Eastern India: Buddhism in Sanchi. Tigers in Satpura. Mughal architecture in Bhopal. French architecture of Chandannagar. British architecture in Kolkata. Terracotta crafts in Bishnupur. A new concept in education in Santiniketan. Baul (similar to wandering friars) music across the border. Fishing with Otters in Tangail. Sarees in Dhaka. Grassroot initiatives in Kushtia. Need we say more ?

Chapter III – Bangladesh and the Easternmost extremity of India: Bangladesh is an enigma – and we know that it isn’t at the top of your mind of holiday destinations in India. But a journey along the country is brilliant fun. Trust us. We have been there. For starters, the food is awesome. For the mains, the country is known for the exquisite sarees that it manufactures – some of which may cost more than the latest on the Milan runway. As you travel along the country, you will be stunned by how green it is. You will be stunned by how polite people are. You will be stunned by how they are themselves trying to change the country. As you cross into Tripura and Mizoram, you will miss the country. But Tripura and Mizoram are awesome in themselves. Your journey would end near the rolling meadows of Meghalaya. From your resort near world’s wettest region of Cherrapunji, you can set forth to explore the root bridges, the 800 odd caves or just take it easy and grab a beer… and compare this beer to the one you had on the white sands.

To know more, please write to us at toty(at)indebo(dot)com.