We are together living in a very confusing world. Mental health is taking a toll everywhere. Body shaming, age shaming, fat-shaming, and whatnot. Most of us have been through one of these, shamed for one thing or the other. In fact, over the years, the types of shaming have also evolved and can be associated with anything and everything.
Pandemic has rippled waves of changes around the world. With COVID-19, came a new age. People are mask shamed for not wearing masks. Then, there is virus shaming, when someone is shamed for contracting the virus. If that has not been enough, the latest one that has become a trend in travel shaming.
What Is Travel Shaming?
Before all these crises, travel featured in the top to-do list for many. And almost everyone had their bucket travel list ready; even if some could not make it, there were definitely long conversations regarding travel over dinner or casual chats. Discussions around travel are still on, although we are unsure about when and how the next ‘safe’ trip can happen. Yet, there are some, who choose to travel and share their experiences during this pandemic. While there is nothing wrong in doing so, one should be mindful of the risk involved and take precautions,
How Does Travel Shaming Manifest?
Earlier, people didn’t need to think twice to share their travel experiences, and social media provided them with the required platform to do so. This scenario, however, changed once the world went into lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak. While, in pre-COVID days, people received praise for their travel photos and stories, the dynamics seem to have changed now. Travellers are increasingly shamed from people who feel that travelling during a pandemic means putting others at risk.
While that is true and one needs to be very cautious, travel shaming every traveller does not make for a viable case too. We have come across stories where people have stayed apart from their families for months because of lockdown and travel restrictions, a major reason why some have jumped at the chance of travelling.
What Leads To This?
Many people cancelled vacations or cancelled trips to see their loved ones. When they see others enjoying nonessential travel, they may be angry, envious and feel that it’s not fair. People feel like they’ve given up things that are important to them, so they’ll naturally be upset to see that others haven’t done the same. And while the evidence for the effectiveness of shaming is mixed, it does work in some cases.
What can we do?
While there is no doubt that COVID has forever changed the way we look at the world. Travelling during the pandemic is a highly personal decision, and putting the ethical question of whether or not (and how) we should be travelling aside, how we choose to share our lives on social media is another issue altogether.
While many have agreed that this phenomenon of travel shaming has influenced them to be more responsible during travel, there are some who believe that there will always be someone out there, ready to shame someone else, for one reason or the other. Our word, these are tough times, so keep the positivity going. Be conscientious, stay safe and keep others safe, do not judge, empathise.
Also read- Precautions Resuming Travel After Pandemic
Belum Caves: An Underground Hidden City
From sheltering men to their Gods, caves in India have been special right from ancient times. Indian cave systems usually bring to mind the north-eastern state of Meghalaya with its extensive network of caves; surprisingly the southern state of Andhra Pradesh has the second largest system of caves in India, the inconspicuous Belum Caves. The word Belum derives from the Sanskrit ‘Bilum’ which means caves, so it is just a repetition to call these caves Belum Caves. Belum Caves is a network of underground calcareous caves at the deepest point, more than 3 kilometres long and 29 metres deep.
Moreover, at present, about half of this length is publicly available. Visitors from nearby Gandikota are attracted to this site. Mainly those who intend a day trip that will visit both of these locations. This area has made the availability of limestone and water very suitable for cement factories.
Best Season to visit Belum Caves
Here the hot climate is as rugged as the terrain. Belum caves, situated in the southern part of India, remain hot for most of the year. Also, the best time to visit it will be between the months of October and February when the weather is good. Further, the temperature in the underground caves is marginally higher than the temperature at ground level. It is due to continuous carbon dioxide accumulation at the bottom of the caves.
How to reach Belum Caves
Gandikota is usually carried out as a day trip from Chennai or Bangalore, the two major cities nearby, in combination with a visit to the nearby Belum caves. The best choice is a day trip from each of these cities and it can be achieved using a hired taxi, but if you want to make it back on time, you have to start very early. The nearest railway stations are Tadipatri, 30 kilometres from here, and Banganapalli, 33 kilometres away. You can find taxis and buses from Tadipatri, while there are frequent buses from Banganapalli. Most of the buses stop at Kolimigundla, from where the Belum Caves shuttle service is open.
Punnami Hotel, run by the Andhra Pradesh government’s department of tourism, APTDC, is the only choice if you want to remain close to Belum Caves itself. But Punnami only offers dorm-type accommodation, and if you want a decent bed, you’d better go to Tadipatri which is a little far away.
The citizens here speak Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, and even English to a good degree. You will be shocked at the number of multi-lingual guides available here. Even the people are courteous enough to ask us what language you would prefer.
The canteen owned by it is directly next to the APTDC hotel. The canteen serve a multitude of offerings. As well as a few breads, both North and South Indian. It would be a shame not to taste the world-famous mango of Banganapalli after visiting a place so similar to Banganapalli.
To know more about the historical importance, main sections etc, checkout their official website.
Don’t forget to look at our travel section for more such posts.
Spiti Closed For Tourism For The Entire 2020
Spiti is one of the most sought-after tourist places in India. To get away from the hustle-bustle of the urban cities, people seek solitude here. The tranquil mountains and the soothing valleys, it is a perfect getaway for people seeking refuge. Spiti is bordered in the northern side by Ladakh, Tibet in the East, Kinnaur in the South-East and Kullu valley in the North. Moreover, the treelined getaways, pine forests, green meadows, beautiful monasteries and the houses of the inhabitants are loved by the tourists. A perfect place to retreat when Delhi is sweltering as Spiti is a cold desert valley, and hence it experiences extreme cold temperature during all seasons. Nonetheless, we have sad news for the wanderlusts, as it will be closed for tourism in 2020.
The decision taken by the Spiti Tourism Society has been hailed by most stakeholders even as it does not fall in line with the rest of the state. A circular by the Spiti Tourism Society says that,
“Spiti Valley is closed for any kind of tourism activity in for this year 2020, specifically till 31st October 2020. Tourism activity of any kind will not be allowed which includes jeep safaris, package tours, trekking, and camping. We want to inform all travellers and tourists, who are planning to visit the Spiti valley in the coming days, that no tourism activity will be conducted in the valley till October 31 in the wake of the COVID outbreak. No tourism activity of any kind such as jeep safaris, package tours, trekking and camping will be allowed. The decision not to resume tourism and keep it and its tourists safe was taken unanimously after several meetings with all stakeholders such as hoteliers, homestay owners, guides, travel associates, cab drivers, panchayat representatives and villagers and the local village committees formed to fight COVID challenges.”
Furthermore, he stated that
“As the winter is approaching, the Spiti valley will be far more vulnerable to Covid-19. Anyone needing medical assistance will have to be taken outside it and maintaining social distancing in cold conditions will not be possible,” he added.
“We collectively believe that our valley cannot afford exposure to the pandemic. The decision not to resume tourism is a difficult one for us, as the valley depends heavily on tourism, but it is a necessary step to check the spread of Covid-19 in the Spiti valley.”
Check out: Places To Take a Long Drive In India
Places To Take a Long Drive In India
Ever wanted to just head out for a long drive with a couple of friends? Having Chai & Maggi for every stop? Looking at the gorgeous scenery and just enjoying the road? If yes, then you’re not alone. Here’s a list of places you can do exactly just that.
Gangtok To Lake Tsomgo & Nathu-La Pass
The trip from Guwahati to Assam is a thrilling ride across some of the most difficult terrains in the Himalayan land. The journey takes to the best of extreme road journey stretching for over 10 hours covering approximately 520 km. The challenging ride on this 55 km road stretch would make your journey even more enthralling. Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo in winter is a ride through the dreamy landscape that would fill you with awesomeness.
Highway: Jawaharlal Nehru Rd
Length Of Highways: 37 km
Cities Covered: Gangtok
Guwahati To Tawang
There are road journeys that make you rejoice and reminisce and remain etched in your memory forever. In fact, most of the mountain journeys are remarkable in their own way. And Guwahati to Tawang is one such magical journey. The stretch boasts of incredible views and plenty of dangerous hairpin bends that would leave you thrilled. You must be utterly cautious while driving on this road. Every Indian, as well as foreign national, must have the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh.
Length Of Highways: 520 km
Cities Covered: Tawang, Guwahati
Shillong To Cherrapunjee
One of the most beautiful roads in the northeast, the Shillong – Cherrapunjee highway can be found engulfed in cloud and mist for the most duration of a year. And when the whole thing subsides, there appears a tranquillizing view that only fewer mortals would dare to forget. The one and a half-hour ride is a 55 km journey of bliss and boasts of tremendous views.
Length Of Highways: 55 km
Cities Covered: Shillong, Cherrapunjee
Manali To Leh Highway
I believe that there are roads journeys serene and stunning that cast a huge spell on us and can’t be described in a mere few words. Manali-Leh Highway is one such road that would overwhelm you leave you speechless for sure. The 479 km stretch of road remains open to the public for 3-4 months in a year before heavy snowfall cuts off the road route leading to this part of the Trans-Himalayan land from rest of the country. The 2-day journey is studded with views and spans over 2 days.
Highway: Manali-Leh Highway
Length Of Highways: 479 km
Cities Covered: Manali, Leh, Lahaul, Spiti
Chennai To Pondicherry
Popularly known as the East Coast Road, the Chennai-Pondicherry highway is a road for the discerning travelers. The road runs parallel to the vast Bay of Bengal and is every traveler’s fancy. The journey epitomized by the seamless ocean view, cool ocean breeze, and an endless streak of pine around is the most preferred road to drive on to reach Pondicherry from Chennai.
Highway: East Coast Road
Length Of Highways: 690 kms
Cities Covered: Chennai, Pondicherry, Cuddalore
Visakhapatnam To Araku Valley
If you are in the southwest coastal region of Indian mainland this is the drive that would leave you enthralled for sure. The ride from Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley is stunning in every way and stretches to 114 km along the Visakhapatnam Road. Are you up for this 3-hour ride of the lifetime?
Highway: Araku-Visakhapatnam Road
Length Of Highways: 114 kms
Cities Covered: Araku, Vishakhapatnam
For more travel related articles, visit – LLL Travel
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