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!
A woman in all ways caring, unique, and free-thinking, Parkes spent twenty-four years in India. She learned Hindi, explored various aspects of our culture – including that of life in the zenana – and wrote an extensive memoir: ‘Wanderings of a Pilgrim in search of the Picturesque’. Here, she ranges from a discussion of colonial tyranny to an account of her travels in India, analyzes economic and social reforms, seeks to understand its theologies, and delves deeply into the customs and culture of each part of the country that she visited. In her words: “How much there is to delight the eye in this bright, this beautiful world! Roaming about with a good tent and a good Arab [horse], one might be happy for ever in India.” She valued the diversity of Indian culture; her vivid depictions of life here in the 19th century have earned praise from no less than William Dalyrymple.