Women-Only India Travel Club Breaks With Tradition

Flickr photo by rajkumar1220

Historically, the idea of independent travel was not an option for Indian women. They typically stayed at home, cared for by a husband or a father figure. But with more female opportunities in education and employment, the role of India’s women is changing. Say hello to Indian travel clubs.

Traditional travel groups for Indian women included widows, abandoned wives and the elderly. But even those women traveled with a male chaperone, mostly to religious sites. Today’s Indian travel for women includes trips around the world, from the the Taj Mahal to the Antarctic.

“In a typical Indian family holiday women end up in a role-playing mode of being a mother, wife, daughter and are often unable to experience a destination as an individual,” says Piya Bose, owner of Mumbai-based women’s travel group, GOTG (Girls on the Go) in an Aljazeera article.As the number of urban, educated Indian women grows, so have the number of travel clubs enabling them to see the world on their own.

With offices in both New Delhi in North India and Bangalore in South India, Women On Wanderlust (WOW) is another travel club, this one founded by travel writer Sumitra Senapathy who promotes the advantages of group travel. “They can come in solo but travel with the security that a group provides”, says Senapathy.

India Travel Guide

An Octogenarian’s Himalayan Adventure (VIDEO)

Who says you have to give up an adventurous life just because you get a little older? Certainly not Simon Gandolfi, an 80-year-old writer who just so happens to be on a journey from Delhi to London aboard a 125 CC TVS Phoenix motorcycle. In the video below we get a chance to experience part of Simon’s adventure as he rides up the Rohtang Pass in India and into the Himalayan State of Himachal Pradesh. To call the roads he rides treacherous would be an understatement but the views along the way look absolutely spectacular.

I hope I’m still taking on adventures like this when I’m in my 80s. Simon is an inspiration, even if he does look absolutely exhausted at the end.

Project Bly Brings World Street Market Culture To You

Mumbai street market
Courtesy of Shriti Bannerjee, ProjectBly.com

If you are the kind of traveler who lives for digging through flea markets and wandering through souks, you might want to travel over to ProjectBly.com, a new lifestyle website featuring a rotation of world street market collections. In addition to shopping for carefully curated home goods and textiles, you can also check out street photography, food, fashion and members’ profiles.

Bly highlights a new city and one-of-a-kind market goods every two months, working with local photojournalists to capture the style and spirit of each place. The website works with local vendors and artisans directly to get a fair price on goods, and gives 5 percent of proceeds to local charities. The first featured city is Mumbai, India, with La Paz, Bolivia, debuting in early June. Other cities planned for the first year include Kumasi, Ghana; Bukhara, Uzbekistan; Malacca, Malaysia; and Berlin, Germany.

Bly is named after Nellie Bly, a pioneering female journalist who traveled around the world in 72 days in 1889 with just two day’s notice and one small bag (check out a nifty drawing of Nellie Bly’s packing list, which included a flask and a jar of cold cream). The founder of Bly, Rena Thiagarajan, was born in the former Indian city of Madras (now Chennai) and now lives in San Francisco, and has traveled the world in search of unique design finds and street culture.

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Get hunting at ProjectBly.com and check out the slideshow of street photography featured on the site.

Photo Of The Day: Chennai, India

Keith Pennington

Dried ginger, like other dried goods, requires careful preparation. The ginger root must be washed, peeled, sliced and left out in the sun to dry over time. This photo by photographer Keith Pennington captures three Indian women taking on the task of drying ginger in Chennai, India. I love this shot not only for its candid nature, but also because it somehow depicts the heat of the sun and the meditation behind the practice. If you have a photo you’d like to submit for Photo Of The Day, just upload it to the Gadling Flickr Pool.

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Air India Pilot Locked Out Of Cockpit After Bathroom Break

allenthepostman, Flickr

In what would otherwise make for a great comedy sketch, an Air India captain took a bathroom break during a flight Tuesday night and returned to find a jammed cockpit door. But according to a report by USA Today, this was no laughing matter: after all efforts failed to open the door – even from the inside – the co-pilot landed the plane at the nearest airport, where ground maintenance staff fixed the problem. The plane then resumed its flight, which was making its way from New Delhi to Bangalore.

This is the second strange cockpit incident that’s happened with Air India recently; earlier this month, pilots allowed flight attendants to sit in their chairs while they napped, and one of the attendants accidently disengaged the plane’s autopilot function. In both instances, no passengers were injured.