India is a land of enchanting natural beauty. The natural scenery of our forests, mountains, valleys, lakes, seas have always served as a source of inspiration for our artists and thinkers. The ancient poet Kalidasa has written evocative lines describing the natural wonders of India. His Meghaduta carries extensive passages describing Kalidasa’s long journeys over India, through regions that are located far from Ujjain, where Kalidasa was primarily based. The natural landscape that impressed him most was the mountains. Almost all of his works are full of highly descriptive passages on the Himalayas or other picturesque mountain ranges. He is thought to be the only Sanskrit poet of antiquity who has described a flower that grows only in Kashmir.
In the modern digital era, we have started enjoying matchless opportunities for indulging in sightseeing without having to step away from the comfort zone of our houses. An Internet connected laptop, or even a handheld tablet or smartphone is all that you need to satiate your wanderlust. Here is a list of some good options:
Point your browser to http://www.tripfilms.com and make an acquaintance with thousands of videos from many mesmerising destinations. Majority of these videos have been loaded by amateurs, normal tourists like you and me, and hence you can be sure that they present an authentic picture of what things are really like. The site also offers lots of tips and advice on how to shoot travel videos.
Zoom and Go
An unending stream of travel related videos, information and other fun stuff await you at Zoom and Go (http://zoomandgo.com). On the home page there is a world map dotted with small thumbnails of videos from myriad destinations. Click on the destination of your choice and a relevant video will start playing. This place is also packed with excellent information on local hotels.
Lonely Planet TV
Many travellers prefer the Lonely Planet outlets to have all kinds of info on places they want to visit. The coverage at http://www.lonelyplanet.tv turns out to be extremely professional and authentic. It is easy to browse for new information, as the videos are divided into many categories and sub-categories like Bluelist, Destination low-down, Encounters, Adventures, World Parties, Travellers Tales, and much else. The Lonely Planet guides on India are quite informative.
The Bathroom Diaries
At times, travellers find it difficult to find a clean bathroom. So before leaving on that fancy vacation, you should arm yourself with some info from the website at: http://www.thebathroomdiaries. com/search.html. This place has information on the exact location of bathrooms in many popular destinations. Out here, you can also learn about celebrity sightings. If any celebrity is known to have used a particular bathroom, the Bathroom Diaries will tell you about it.
Once you have pointed your browser at http://www.travelchannel.com, you enter a world of professionally made travel related shows, which are totally geared to let you experience the actual sights, sounds and smells of different destinations. There are also a whole lot of pictures and descriptive articles that you can look forward to.
At Videomap (http://www.videomap.it/en) you use a 3D plug-in for Google Earth to pinpoint at any location. On the home screen you have a map of the world, on which there is a green arrow. Move the arrow around to identify your destination and then use the slider to magnify the area. You also have the option of clicking on the “Search Video” button, that lies above the map, to find the videos relevant to the destination.
Compulsive travellers must flock to http://www.compulsivetraveler.tv to find all kinds of information and succour. Out here, you can browse for travel videos on the basis of people and places. The site also has the Channels section, which proves quite efficient in helping you gain knowledge about things like Great Chefs of the World, 10 Best Things to Do, Great Hotels of the World and much else. You can also upload your own videos after signing up with the website.