Ayadar Malikmadove is the leader of the village of Yamg near Langar in Tajikistan. During my tour through the Wakhan Valley we stopped in Yamg and were treated to Ayadar’s famous hand crafted Guitars used for traditional folkk music of this area.
I was very honoured to be allowed to video him performing, and to have been a part of this moment. He also is curator for a small and personal museum of the history of the area and it’s people. If you are planning a trip through the Wakhan Valley Ayadar’s place is a must stop point.
In 2015 I journeyed round the southern part of the Indian Continent. Starting in Goa and working my way round the peninsula to Chennai. In the beautiful state of Kerala I stopped in Varkala and after my amazing experience with the Theyyam traditional worship of the Gods in Malabar, I was keen to see the Kathakali.
When i was in Cochin in 2015 I saw these wonderfully coloured Rickshaws in the grounds of a Hotel waiting for their start of the now famous Rickshaw challenge India.
1st January 2015, they start the rally in Cochin, Kerala on the southern part of India, and driving up India’s west coast to reach Jaisalmer, Rajasthan in northern India two weeks later (hopefully). Along the way, they pass through the beautiful beaches of Goa, the mountains of Nasik, the chaos of Mumbai, and many other parts of India.
The Rickshaw Run is the brainchild of a UK company called The Adventurists. They are most famous for the Mongol Rally, a race that brings participants from London all the way to Mongolia. Every adventure they run raises money for some charities. So far teams on their adventures have raised a total of 5 million GBP!
To quote them, “Here at The Adventurists we don’t want sunsets and ‘finding oneself’ we want danger and adventure, the clue is in our name. Our adventures are all hard-core and pose great risk to individuals health, however that’s the way we like to live.
The Rickshaw Run is no exception.” Their motto in life: fighting to make the world less boring.
During my road trip Last year in December 2017 I took a road out from Phayao toward the Doi Phu Nang National Park. About 10klm out there is a place edged by huge plastic sunflowers and a giant entrance and you can’t fail to see these amazing restored and fully working Classic cars and pick ups! They all have their papers in and some you can open the doors and sit in and have your photo taken. I have in my past been a great classic car fan and restorer, these I could not pass by and the quality of the restoration is as good as anywhere in Europe or America.
In 2015 I was fortunate to be travelling round the Southern part of India on a 6mth Journey of Indian Culture and discovery. In the place of Malabar in the state of Kerela I was deeply honoured to meet Kierian from “Costa Malabar” who arranged for me to not only visit but film and photograph openly some 3 Theyyam ceremonies. Lasting from a couple of hours to all day and all night and most of the next day. A tiring experience for the onlooker but a marathon for the participating Gods.
The people of Malabar and the Gods made me feel most welcome and it was a deeply touching cultural experience I will never forget. I can only hope that these images and videos give you a taste of what I witnessed.
The worshipping place of Muthappan is called Madappura.Many Madappuras are there in North Malabar .Of all such Madappuras; Parassani Madappura is the most prominent. Here Muthappan devotees of Muthappan who throng here being supplied with Tea, steamed pear and a small piece of coconut. Relief and consaltion is accorded to all devotees of Muthappan who come here and conolation is accorded to all devotees of Muthappan who come here and after the lighting of the lamp called Deeparadhana.Devotees are blessed with the ‘Holy Darsan’ by both Cheriya Muthappan and Valiya Muthappan when they conduct Thirivappana Vellattom
Sanjao Posuea ( ศาลเจ้าพ่อเสือ ) 171, Soi 5, Thaosura Rd ; Tel 044 259246
This is clearly the biggest and most richly decorated Sanjao you can visit in Korat. It is made up of a main building, quite spacious and with several internal shrines, plus five or six more external shrines (one of them placed on a second floor), a votive pole, an incineretor, and other votive objects and accessories. It is found outside the eastern city gate, on a lane extending to the east into the homonymous community.
Internal decorations, ornaments and objects in the main building are gorgeous and they, alone, deserve a visit. If you are lucky you can assist a particualr religious ceremony taking place inside. The full name includes also the words Tung Swaang ( ทุ่งสว่าง ).
So during my trip round southern India in 2015, I spent Christmas in Cochin.
What does one do in Cochin on Christmas day?? I hear you ask, well you go and watch the Bulls and Angels do their motorcycle stunts of course. Quote from their FB page
Bulls Angels Motorcycle Club Welcomes you – a consortium of die – hard bullet enthusiasts, who swear by nothing but the bullet. If you believe that life is not about the air you breathe but what makes you breathless, welcome to a world where the road is endless, the nature is your best friend, and bullet is your machine. Say hello to fellow brethren, learn and exchange experiences, and relish the freedom to unshackle yourself.