In my more than 3 decades of living and traveling in India, I have understood fairly clearly that 1 lifetime is not adequate to expertise our personal magical backyard and diverse land that we proudly refer to as ‘Incredible India’. We are 1 of the oldest living civilizations in the globe. Which implies that there is so significantly heritage to learn in so a lot of distinctive corners of our nation. And we may not even know about it even although we may be living subsequent to it or we may have visited that location a lot of a instances.
I went via a comparable expertise for the duration of my current trip to Odisha, the land that is dubbed as ‘India’s finest kept secret’. Now, I have visited Odisha rather a couple of instances in the previous, but on this trip, I saw her in totally new light. And I have to thank Instances Passion Trails and Odisha Tourism for it as it was them who took me and 20 other folks on a culture and heritage trail across Odisha. What I saw, knowledgeable and learnt on this trip tends to make me ponder in amazement at the sheer riches of our nation. And for that to take place on our trips, we require a excellent travel companion. A companion who can let us see us expertise the true and hidden India that most of us are blatantly unaware of.
Instances Passion Trails, an initiative by the Instances of India, is 1 such companion who permits you to expertise the location from a richer point of view. I am so delighted that I went on this Odisha heritage trip with them. They are not your standard travel agent or tour operator, but they give curated experiences that take the game to a complete new level. Beneath are some of the highlights of traveling with Instances Passion Trails.
1) Exceptional service offerings due to partnerships with state and other nearby tourism boards
A single of the USPs (Ultimate Promoting Point) of traveling with Instances Passion Trails is the chance to relish special travel experiences, which is anything that all of us appear for in our holidays these days. This is created attainable via their close partnerships with the state and other nearby tourism boards. This partnerships opens doors that are generally fairly tough for other people to access. And this undoubtedly supplies a fabulous expertise for the expertise traveler as some of these experiences are merely legendary. Right here are a couple of examples:
1) Reside sand art sessions with Padma Shree Sudarsan Patnaik, the individual who has won a lot of awards and accolades in this field
two) Reside stone sculpting sessions with Padma Shree Sudarsan Sahoo, the individual who is single handedly maintaining this ancient art alive
three) Reside session with the Tarakasi or silver filigree artisans of Cuttack in their houses
four) A specific shadow puppetry session with Dr. Gouranga Dash, 1 of the major authorities in the field and the capability to see and expertise this uncommon art from close quarters (each back stage and front stage)
two) Trip curated by topic matter authorities
The other important highlight of traveling with Instances Passion Trails is the truth that every single of their trips are curated by topic matter authorities who they refer to as ‘Experience Architects’. They are not your tour guides, but specialists who have spent their complete life in that field. The expertise architect on my trip was Dr Navina Jafa, a Fulbright scholar who has worked at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, taught about Indian and South Asian cultures at several universities, a educated Indian classical dancer and a person who has been interpreting heritage for the final two decades. She not only gave us facts about the destinations we visited, but created us conscious of the complete cultural story, which integrated folks, history, art, dance, meals, languages, and so forth. and hence enabling us to assume and appreciate the heritage areas from a complete distinctive point of view.
And in addition to this specific Expertise Architect, we also had access to a knowledgeable nearby guide. So, we not only got the intellectual download, but we got a excellent understanding of the nearby stories and the folklore also.
three) Managed by a versatile and accommodating bunch of folks
I generally travel independently mainly because tour groups are not generally versatile with their time and plans. But, it is right here that Instances Passion Trails shocked me however once more. On this trip, I noticed how effortlessly they accommodated the time, whims and fancies and requests of the distinctive folks on the group. Be it purchasing, health-related emergencies, specific meals desires or just some crazy request, they seamlessly attempted to accommodate all of it. And due to that, they won a lot of brownie points in everybody’s book.
four) Inexpensive value point
’Paisa Vasool’ is the usual motto when we Indians commit our dollars. Instances Passion Trails fits that bill effectively. They give keep in four star or equivalent hotel, they give sumptuous meals, they give expertise architects and guides, they give air conditioned ground transportation and the finest of breed experiences for a extremely cost-effective charge. My Odisha culture and heritage trail was priced at INR 35,000 for five evening and six days and the Odisha wildlife and bird photography trail that begins nowadays is priced at INR 40,000 for six evening and 7 days.
five) Completely incredible companions
A single of the important items that I treasure the most about my trip with Instances Passion Trails and Odisha Tourism are the folks with whom I explored the several art, culture and heritage trails of Odisha. They have been a varied bunch ranging from ex army personnel, physicians, archaeology students, dancers, businessmen to people functioning in distinctive rungs of the corporate globe. Even although all of us came to this trip from distinctive components of the nation and with distinctive backgrounds, we all seemed to relish the time we spent in Odisha and all of us took a massive liking to the hidden heritage trails of Odisha and the nearby desserts. And ended up developing a ton of memories in the interim.
There is some scope for improvement
Factors weren’t usually rosy and excellent. There have been some compact problems with logistics a couple of instances. To me, it was adventure. But, for some, it was tiring. So yes, there is scope for improvement and I am fairly confident that Instances Passion Trails and Odisha Tourism will address it in their subsequent trips. What I liked the most about Instances Passion Trails and Odisha Tourism is their eagerness in asking for private feedback. And no, it wasn’t cliché feedback types, but in individual feedback session at the finish of the trip by the major management of each organizations. That according to me is fairly specific.
Subsequent Trip for Instances Passion Trails
Their subsequent trip is a wildlife and bird photograph trail via some of the well known and lesser identified wildlife trails of Odisha. The trip begins on February 25th, but regrettably, all the registrations for this trail have been closed.
Some Lately Completed Trips for Instances Passion Trails
1) Kumbh Mela and its heritage in Uttar Pradesh
two) Madhya Pradesh’s wealthy culture and history along its holy Narmada river
three) Ahmedabad Heritage photography
four) Wildlife and bird photography in Gujarat
five) Jaipur Sufi Poetry and Music appreciation
Give them a appear when you locate time and do maintain track of their upcoming trails. You by no means know, they may have anything that may pique your interest!
Disclosure: I was invited on this trip by Instances Passion Trails and Odisha Tourism, but all the thoughts described in this report are purely primarily based on my private expertise and have been written without the need of any prejudice and with comprehensive honesty and transparency. They genuinely echo my sentiments.