Walking Through The Idea Of India
How about playing Megasthenes?
You may not be a historian or a diplomat like this Greek, but you can follow his adventurous yet reflective way of exploring India. And India's multicultural ethos, its natural beauty, its resilient society, the sumptuous festivals and ceremonies, the wisdom of the seers, all remain the same.
Walks Of India allows you precisely this secured, therapeutic freedom. We would not be a lesser host than Chandragupta, the Mauryan emperor who welcomed Megasthenes! We would make up for the regal opulence with warmth andexpertise. Let Walks of India help you take part in this rewarding role-playing!
Come, discover the India we see, smell, breathe, think. Come discover the Idea Of India!
Some of our visitors, who may not be as familiar with Indian culture, may balk at the liberal use of the swastika in Hindu homes and temples. They see it as a symbol of white supremacy and anti-Semitism because of its perversion it was subjected to by the Nazis. Yet the swastika is an ancient ideogram, one that affirms the positive values of life. Not uniquely Indian, it is a solar symbol that has been used by many cultures over some 3000 years, among them the Celts and the Greeks. The symbol’s use has been discovered in the excavation of Troy, as well as in China and Southern Europe. Some have held that it predates the Egyptian ankh.
The swastika remains misappropriated by the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who claim to have ‘Aryan’ roots, but the term ‘Aryan’ itself has nothing to do with race. It refers to related language groups, for instance Avestan and Sanskrit, both of which are Indo-European. The Buddha gave ‘Aryan’ a special emphasis; for him, those who had attained to wisdom were termed the ‘Ariya’ – noble souls who had gained enlightenment. In this sense, therefore, anyone can strive to be an Aryan. Here’s to the best in life!
Major General Charles Stuart, a British officer in Calcutta, was a great proponent of the Sari, the Indian wraparound elegant garment for women. So much so that he went to the extent of saying that European women must give up iron busks as "wearing iron busks makes women highly susceptible to lighting strikes and discarding iron busks from their wardrobes would immensely enhance the supply of iron in Bengal for farmers who desperately need new wagon wheels". He published his letters extolling the virtues of "elegant, simple, sensible, and sensual" Indian saris vis-a-vis "the prodigious structural engineering Europeon (sic) women strapped themsleves into in order to hold their bellies in, project their breasts out and allow their dresses to balloon grandly up and over towards the floor". Join us on the Park Street Walk in Calcutta to check out Hindoo Stuart's tomb where he's buried with all his favourite Hindu idols.