NGT Rewind: Swiss Skiing Adventures, Delhi-Inspired Travel Books and Packing Hacks

The best of Nat Geo Traveller India from October 17-23. | By NGT Staff  
Ski Lift Switzerland
Ride the Ice Flyer chairlift for glorious views of the snowy peaks. Photo: Stefan Huwiler/ImageBroker/Dinodia

What’s New

IN GOD’S OWN COUNTRY: In a welcome move, the Kerala state government has announced that it will revamp several tourist sites to make them more accessible for disabled visitors. There will be ramps, wheelchair lifts, Braille signs, and guides trained in sign language—all by December 3. First on the list is Fort Kochi. More here.

TRAVEL FOR GOOD: Global travel site TripAdvisor will stop selling tickets to attractions that bring tourists into physical contact with captive wild animals and endangered species, such as elephant rides. The move follows research on the darker side of this form of tourism. More here.

FEAR FACTOR: China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is famously known as the inspiration for Hollywood blockbuster Avatar (remember the soaring forested pillars?). Now, it’s known as the home of the world’s longest and highest glass walkway—but would you cross over a canyon on a bridge with a glass bottom? More here.

URBAN WILDLIFE: London’s Natural History Museum has named Nayan Khanolkar—biology teacher, photographer and research fellow with the Bombay Natural History Society—the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. His incredible image of a leopard in Mumbai’s Aarey Milk Colony is unforgettable—and a reminder that we share our spaces with the animal kingdom, too. More here.

ROMAN HOLIDAY: Would you pay to stick your hand in a statue that might bite your fingers off for ever telling a lie? The folks at Rome’s Church of Santa Maria are counting on it. More here.

Trip Ideas

WELLNESS GETAWAY: Imagine looking out on a tranquil lake while enjoying a relaxing ayurvedic massage. That’s a possibility at the Anantya Travancore, a secluded haven just a short distance from Trivandrum. More here.

GOA STAY: Breakfasts with kingfishers, Konkan thali for lunch, and evening chai in the library—Turiya Villa is bliss for travellers looking to escape the bustle of Goa’s beaches. Plus, it’s in a painstakingly renewed Portuguese-style bungalow. More here.

NATURE RETREAT: Looking for a quick getaway from Bengaluru? Galibore Nature Camp is a secluded resort where there are more trees than humans, and no mobile network to speak of. More here.

WINTER ADVENTURES: Snowy slopes, glacier caves, ice bars, and spectacular cable car rides make a first-time skier’s visit to the Swiss ski town of Engelberg an unforgettable experience. More here.

Travel Reads

DELHI DIGEST: Delhi is the city of forts, flyovers, and flowering trees that tell its seasons. Of fading aristocrats and recent migrants, of bureaucrats and activists—a city that belongs to everyone and to no one, and one that has inspired storytellers for centuries. Explore the capital city with our favourite immersive tales. More here.

TRAVEL EPIPHANIES: We bring back many things from our travels: tickets, maps, snow globes, and more memories than our brains can hold. They’re all precious, but some of these recollections stand out more than others. One traveller wonders why we remember some places more vividly. More here.

IN PHOTOS: The Dawoodi Bohras of Sidhpur live in mansions that could put Hollywood stars to shame—ornate interiors and rainbow-coloured facades are some of the features of this style of architecture. Get a glimpse of these beautiful homes here.

SHUNNING ORTHODOXY: The Vatican may be among the smallest countries in the world, but it is home to one of the most influential people on the planet: Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church (and ex-lab technician and club bouncer). Read his fascinating story and how he is initiating change in the Vatican here.

TRAVEL HUMOUR: Admit it, we’ve all rolled our eyes when our NRI relatives have complained while visiting India. But funnyman Sidin Vadukut has some handy tips to impress them, and even get them to shut up. More here.

MEALS ON WHEELS: The fascinating story of how social media helped forge America’s food truck culture and changed the way Americans eat, one tweet at a time. More here.

BEAR NECESSITY: For centuries, sloth bears had been captured and trained by the nomadic Kalandar community and made to dance to earn their keepers money. It’s illegal, but it was only six years ago that every single dancing bear was finally taken off India’s streets, thanks to conservationists such as Kartick Satyanarayan of Wildlife SOS. More on the inspiring story here.

TRAVEL HACKS: Packing for kids can be tricky. But fear not, we have easy solutions that will make travelling with tots a breeze. More here.

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?