Photo Of The Day: Whirling Dervishes In Sudan

Whirling dervishes in Khartoum, Sudan
Mark Fischer, Flickr

Dervishes of the whirling variety are most famously associated with Turkey, where they’ve become something of a tourist attraction throughout the country. But the dervish tradition extends far beyond modern-day gawkers and Turkey’s borders. Dervishes are Sufi Muslims who lead an ascetic lifestyle. Whirling dervishes spin rhythmically in order to reach a state of religious or spiritual ecstasy, and are found in many places outside of Turkey. In fact, the whirling dervish ceremony just outside of Khartoum, Sudan, where Flickr user Mark Fischer snapped this photo, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the capital. If you’d like to see your great shots on Photo of the Day, share them with us in the Gadling Flickr pool.

Photo of the Day – Colorful clothing in Khartoum

Color. It surrounds us so completely that it’s easy to take it for granted, becoming a sort of visual white noise, unobserved and innocuous. Yet the strategic use of color in a travel photo can really draw in the viewer’s attention. Take the emerald green scarf in the photo above – it’s exactly what caught my eye in Flickr user Mark Fischer’s photo from Sudan. It literally shouts at your eyes against the muted white background of the characters in back. The man’s weathered face, faint smile and white wisps of facial hair further add to the intrigue of this mysterious character.

Taken any great travel photos of your own? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Become a monk or Muslim for a month

Muslim for a monthIf you really want to “go local” on your next vacation, have you considered changing your religion? A new program in Turkey offers guests a chance to be Muslim for a month in order to foster cultural awareness. The term month is used loosely – guests can choose from nine- and twenty-one-day programs, including visits to some of Istanbul‘s most famous mosques, lessons on Islam and Sufism (famed for their Whirling Dervishes), an invite to an Islamic wedding, and side trips to some of Turkey’s most important Muslim sites. While in Istanbul, guests stay in a 400-year-old Sufi lodge and take in many of the non-religious sites of the city.

The Blood Foundation started with a “temple stay” program in Thailand, where guests can learn about Thai Buddhism, volunteer with a school on the Burma border, and stay with a hill tribe family.


Monk for a month is also offered for two and three weeks, and involves daily meditation and following the Ten Precepts of a novice monk.

Gadling readers, would you want to experience another religion on your travels?

Photo courtesy Flickr user huygens.