Singapore – Interface of Southeast Asia

Singapore – Interface of Southeast AsiaSingapore sits at the seam of Southeast Asian mainland and the island world of Indonesia. With 5.5 million people living on ~700km² it is not only one of the smallest but also most densely populated city states in the world. Since ever the metropolis was a point of commerce, known to Arabs, Indians, Chinese and of course Malayans. That ethnic mix as well as its compact development coin a cityscape that boasts of historic-religious important Hindu and Buddha temples as well as with fully automated metros, an almost clinically clean appearance and a luxury glass steel architecture that culminates in Marina Bay Sands and its Infinity Pool »»

Sunda, die Straße am Feuerberg

Sunda, die Straße am FeuerbergWenn das normalerweise vom Erdmantel verhüllte Magma zu Tage tritt und in direkten Kontakt mit Wasser kommt, dann spricht der Experte lediglich leicht unterkühlt von einer phreatomagmatischen Eruption, die uns bekannte Welt hingegen wird mit einer Explosivkraft konfrontiert, die mehrere hundert Hiroshima-Bomben stark sein kann. Im Jahre 1883 ereignete sich ein derartiger Vulkanausbruch epischen Ausmaßes. Über 20km3 Gestein und Asche wurden in bis zu 25km die Höhe katapultiert und ein bis zu 40 Meter hohen Tsunami fegte die Dörfer auf den umliegenden Inseln von der Landkarte. Ort dieser Katastrophe war das indonesische Archipel, genauer gesagt die Sunda-Straße zwischen Sumatra und Java, wo heute bereits der Nachfahre des einst explodierten Feuerbergs in den Startlöchern steht und regelmäßig neue Ausbrüche in den Himmel schickt: Der Anak Krakatau, an den das Leben nach und nach zurückkehrt, vor allem unter Wasser »»

Built of eternal Love – The Taj Mahal

Built of eternal Love – The Taj MahalThe way to a human’s heart is through its stomach; maybe that is why every second Indian restaurant is named Taj Mahal nowadays. The actual name giver is located in North Indian Agra and was built by Great Mogul Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. His intensive and eternal love as well as the abilities of Persian architect Abu Fazel left the world a unique gem of Indo-Islamic architecture behind »»

Behind the Scenes of the Golden Temple in Amritsar

Behind the Scenes of the Golden Temple in AmritsarThe university town of Amritsar can truly be called to be the heart of Punjab. The city is located not too far from Pakistani border and is an important commercial hub as well as religious centre of the Sikhs, as it is the home of one of their highest sanctuaries, the Golden Temple. The temple complex has a wonderful open-minded, hospitable and spiritual atmosphere and allows interesting in-depth insights in the daily routine of pilgrims and the temple itself »»

Fatehpur Sikri – Ghost Town of the Great Moguls

Fatehpur Sikri – Ghost Town of the Great MogulsBeing located just an hour drive away from world famous Taj Mahal, the town of Fatehpur Sikri is providing an in-depth insight into India’s history as from 1571 to 1585 it has been the capital of Great Mogul Akbar’s empire. Quite a long time ago, though its buildings and chambers are looking still like as its inhabitants were checking out yesterday only. Actually the complex of ancient buildings consists of two cities, which is the holy town Fatehpur and the royal enclosure Sikri. Nowadays tourists are walking awe-inspired over mosaics set in red sand stone and white marble of highest quality »»

Shiva’s Cistern – The Abhaneri Step Well

Shiva’s Cistern – The Abhaneri Step WellThe Chand Baori step well at Abhaneri is everything but a staircase wit. Its unconventional architecture guarantees to the Rajputs, who are usually living in a dry region a water supply being usable throughout the whole year. Due to being surrounded by dozens of stairs, people can access the well from literally every side and when having a closer look at its structures and design, you will easily find yourself not only stuck in a maze of thousands steps but also able to see Shiva’s beauty »»

Jaipur – Rajasthan’s Pink Panther

Jaipur – Rajasthan’s Pink PantherRetina tickling pink is traditionally Rajasthan‘s colour of hospitality. To the Rajputs this symbolic colour is so much important that their capital’s Old Town once got a Barbie-like coat of paint. Jaipur is like a panther on the jump: graceful, but full of energy that is waiting to get released. It is the buzzing and bustling home of more than 2 million people as well as university city, industrial town and a shining light for all things called culture. Maharaja Jai Singh II. formed Jaipur and built impressive monuments like the Palace of the Winds, the Palace of Water or World’s biggest solar clock; all got framed by imposing fortifications like picturesque Fort Jaigarh or massive Fort Nahargarh »»

Jodhpur – Where Shiva and Allah are shaking Hands

Jodhpur – Where Shiva and Allah are shaking HandsIn Jodhpur muezzin’s call to prayer is getting louder and Arabia coming closer. The city Jodhpur is a very interesting interface between Indian and Arabic influenced cultural areas. The countless picturesque lanes with its historic buildings, Haveli called, are crowded with day life. Though from almost everywhere a glance at the massive Mehrangarh Fort is possible, doesn’t matter how narrow a lane is. The Fort is appears like a massive battle ship anchoring in front of the city gates. The city centre is the Clock Tower being surrounded by the Old Market, a place so diverse that it wouldn’t come as big surprise when bumping into a stall selling already chewed chewing gum »»

Divine Vārānasi – Stinking to Heaven high

Divine Vārānasi – Stinking to Heaven highVārānasi, the metropolis at the Ganga River, is one of India’s oldest towns and central sanctuary of Hinduism. No other India picture is as famous as the Hindu pilgrims praying and washing themselves in the waters of Ganges River at the so called Ghats. There is no better reflection of the Hindu society than this river. For most of them Vārānasi is definitely the holiest spot on Earth, though for some of them this means some enormous exploitation potential they are taking advantage of with utter disregard. »»

Calcutta – Out of (Traffic) Control

Calcutta – Out of (Traffic) ControlWhat is the most important part of the body of someone living in Calcutta? Correct, the honk. It doesn’t matter if a car, motorcycle, rickshaw or bicycle: without it nothing is going on, whether it’s hand-driven or with an echo effect. Calcutta’s traffic, or to be precise the way people are behaving is beyond every experience “enjoyed” thus far. It takes no three seconds until the next high frequency noise is drilling its way through the ear to your brain. It’s a sheer miracle that people aren’t deaf yet… Its horrific traffic as well as unbelievably dirty and unhygienic circumstances are definitely the most dominating elements of the city, making Calcutta being hell’s small forecourt. Fortunately it had a guardian angel, a little woman from Albania: Mother Theresa »»