Saturday 29 September 2007


After the short walk in the morning through the village, I came back to the campus by 7. Students and inmates were already in the middle of their work. A lot of them were running around cleaning up the campus, and by the time I sat down to run through the pictures we took yesterday, the campus was resonating with the "Omkara". It was so peaceful, so touching and thoughtful for me to see the gathering of the students and teachers offering prayers for global peace and self enlightenment.

some of the finished products designed and developed by the students:

From yesterday morning onwards we are in the "Namma Bhumi", an initiative managed by CWC. (The Concerned for the Working Children, India).Situated in Kundapura in Karnataka, this campus consists of students, teachers and the locals. Set in a 6 acres campus, Namma Bhumi supports more than hundred children to equip themselves with livelihood skills and education.

Founded by Nandana Reddy, "CWC has been working with local governments, community and working children themselves to implement viable, comprehensive, sustainable and appropriate solutions in partnership with all the major actors, so that children do not have to work. It empowers working children so that they may be their own first line of defence and participate in an informed manner in all decisions concerning themselves."

Sand mining in Kubja nadi. At least there were no massive machines, but small boats.

We were here to explore the option of working together. Since TBY is developing various travel initiatives in Karnataka simliar to the ones in Kerala(especially River Nila), it made all sense to work with people who have been functioning in the region for more than two decades now. We went around seeing a 900 year old mud palace, a temple with wooden idols depicting the mythological stories, and a two-hour consultation with the local elders.

It was quite eerie to go inside the 'palace' because of hundreds of bats and the 'haunted' look of the place in the twilight. We were guided by some of the local teachers who touched our heart by their passion and enthusiasm. Most of them spent their childhood in and around this palace and were quiet sad to see the palace far away from its old glory. We shared with them our experiences from Kerala about how heritage buildings like this were renovated with private public participation and how we could probably think of similar consultations.

Inner courtyard filled with bats!

Consultation with the local elders.

While leaving the village in the night, both of us were so overwhelmed that all we were thinking about was how we could work together with these people! Hopefully you will hear about these initiatives soon.

Kundapur GP © 2007

Saturday 15 September 2007

World Savers Awards 2007 | Condé Nast Traveler

Was just observing the traffic to our website and realised that there were a lot of traffic since this morning and look at what I found!!

A big hug to everyone! :)
TBY wins Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Awards 2007:

1) Spreading the Wealth
Luxury and poverty, face-face - embarassment or oppurtunity? These four pioneering high-end travel companies see a chance to make a difference. Instead of ignoring the problem, they are finding ways to train and employ local people - and pamper guests too
The Blue Yonder

2) World Savers Awards 2007:
Meet the Big Winners
Honourable mention: The Blue Yonder

3) World Savers Awards 2007:
To Serve and Protect
The Blue Yonder

Bangalore © GP 2007

Thursday 13 September 2007

Ganapathi mess

Karnataka is a state that is not much explored. Though the state has immense potential for tourism, so far as a destination its been far behind places like Rajasthan or Kerala. When we were brain storming on one particular photograph that would tell a lot of story about the place, it was a struggling exercise. We were looking for images representing the culture, heritage, tradition, wilderness and what not? It was quite impossible to find an image that encompass what is Karnataka.

Then we ended up on the above image.

I am not sure if this encompasses all that is Karnataka, but many of us feel that this picture does connect with the rural Karnataka! Since we worked on a similar advert for the series on Kerala, probably it was more appealing for us. Wonder how others feel!

Bangalore © GP 2007

Wednesday 12 September 2007

September newsletter is released

"'From the blue yonder..."September newsletter is released.

Kumbhalgarh - One wall standing up for the greener side of Rajasthan
Invis Multimedia: Capturing Kerala for the world
WTM London: Koder house and Kurumba Village resort joins TBY
“Responsibility beyond market”: Interview with Niranjan Khatri, GM Welcomenviron Initiatives - ITC Welcom Group
Spiti Valley : Travelogue from the middle land
News updates from the world

Enjoy reading!

Bangalore GP 2007

Thursday 6 September 2007

Karnataka Adverts

Similiar to the adv. series we launched for our holidays in Kerala, we are launching a new series of adverts for Karnataka. TBY is just about to announce its entry to Karnataka. Even after being in Bangalore for close to four years, we were only 'just' head quartered in Bangalore. From Kerala to Sikkim, now we are in the process of finalising our itineraries and projects for Karnataka. It's been an exciting month looking at what Ekta is bringing out during our weekly meetings. Just can't wait to go and explore what Karnataka has to offer to a traveller! The way itineraries are evolving, I can definitely say that TBY holidays in Karnataka is going to be the talk of the travel industry.

Maintaining our focus of culture, people and wilderness, this is probably the first time Responsible tourism is taking its root in Karnataka. Shall keep you posted on this development asap.

Bangalore © GP 2007