Photo Of The Day: Pigeons Of Jaipur

Pigeons are odd birds. Common all over the world, especially in cities, they can be considered tourist attractions like in Venice‘s St. Marks Square, or considered a nuisance to city dwellers (myself included) who see them as flying rats. Still, any large flight of birds can make for a spectacular photo, such as today’s Photo of the Day from Jaipur, Rajasthan in India. The added pops of color from the building tiles, piles of spices, and ladies’ saris make a nice contrast to the grey birds, and the movement of the many wings puts you right in the action, though you might be happy to be viewing them from a distance.

Share your best travel photos in the Gadling Flickr pool for another Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user arunchs]

Photo Of The Day: Colors Of Rajasthan

Today’s image comes to us from Flickr user arunchs, who captured this visually striking shot inside the Hawa Mahal, a palace located in the city of Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. I love the contrast between the two sides of the images – on the left, we have a muted off-white series of arches. On the right, a colorful collection of stained glass windows, the sunbeams casting rainbow checkerboards across the floor.

Taken any great photos during your travels? Add them to our Gadling group on Flickr – we might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Daily Pampering: Oberoi’s take on India

If you’re going to go all the way to India, you need to make the trip worth it. So, don’t waste your time thinking about short stays. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is offering a new deal: “Oberoi Exotic Vacations. From April 16 to September 30, 2010, you’ll be able to spend at least eight nights at one of its properties in India and enjoy breakfast for two every day, an additional room for two kids (free), a car to take you from the local airport or train station to the hotel, yoga sessions and a 25 percent spa discount. Stay at least 10 nights, and you’ll be upgraded to a suite automatically (based on availability, of course).

You’ll have your choice of cities in India. Oberoi properties in New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ranthambhore and Kolkata are participating, as well as the Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas. Packages start at $3,050 for an eight-night stay. If you’re paying to go all the way to India, do it big.

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

Photo of the Day (3/19/08)

The colors in Rajasthan, one of the states in India are gorgeous–a real color feast. This pink is a vibrant example of a part of the world where every glimpse offers a surprise. What I like about this photo is the vague qualities about everything in the shot except the person’s outfit. The wheres are unclear. The who is this person is unknown, but how lovely. Arunch, the person who snapped this, doesn’t leave too many clues, but one tag says Jaipur. I love Jaipur.

If you have some gorgeous colors to show off, post them at Gadling’s Flickr photo pool. We’ll even take black and white.

Is Travel Causing the Planet’s Demise?

Is travel ruining the environment? John Rosenthal in his article, “Is Traveling Destroying The Planet?” ponders the question.

I’m thinking back to years ago when I visited the Grand Canyon and had to compete with monstrous RVs for parking spots. But, then, there’s the time I caved to luxury on a trek in Nepal. Four days in, I paid for a hot bucket of water for a “shower.” Even though I had read that the wood burned to make the hot water was a deforestation project of sorts, I succumbed to the notion of “just this once.” I did make sure I relished extra hard the feeling of being clean. Besides, it was Christmas.

I’ve heard that hunters are among the biggest environmental champions because they know that if they don’t take care of their natural surroundings, they’ll lose their pastime. So, perhaps those of us who travel are more sensitive to the earth we walk on, rappel down, whitewater raft through, climb up, or buzz by in some form of transportation to get us from here to there.

If we didn’t travel, what then? Parts of India were in a panic after 9/11 because tourists weren’t coming. My mom, who visited us that December to January was the only person on her group tour to the Taj Mahal and Jaipur. She felt compelled to buy not one marble inlay table, but four, and loaded up her bag with marble inlay boxes for everyone she knew. She might have been the only customer for days.

Seeing the Amazon Rainforest, perhaps leads to us wanting to save it. India takes care of the tiger preserve Ranthambore National Park, that Erik Olsen wrote about in one of his Gadling posts, partly because it’s a money maker. When I visited Ranthanbore, one of the people piled onto one of the big trucks without a prayer of seeing a tiger, I bought a hat and gloves from someone in a village we passed since before sun up its wicked cold there. After our hotel dinner were the requisite traditional dancers for the evening entertainment. Each activity put money in people’s pockets.

In the US, tax money is funds national parks and forests. This is one of the reasons why the Wayne National Forest has ORV/ATV trails. People who can get far into the woods in an afternoon, particularly people who can’t walk that far, have some desire to protect it.

I do wonder about the space travel trend? Charles Simonye, an American tourist billionaire just returned from his two-week trip to a space station. At what point will it cost less than $25 million to take in a space station for summer vacation? Drop the price to even $10 million and several celebrities are in. How long before there are trips designed purely for tourism?

I don’t have any answers, but reading John Rosenthal’s article got me to ponder some more about thoughts that travel through my head when I’m traveling.