All posts by Supriya Vohra

Rajasthan – A Beautiful Winter Destination

Rajasthan, literally translated to Land of Kings, home to the massive Thar desert and the ancient Aravalli mountain range, has a rich history, ecology and culture. It is also one of our favourite winter destinations.

Apart from the ruins of the Indus valley civilisation to the Dilwara temples; from the historically important forts and palaces to a diverse variety of wildlife, every city within Rajasthan offers a vibrant history behind its colours (the blue city of Jodphur, the pink city of Jaipur), cultures and customs.

Rajasthan is home to important sanctuaries like the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the Ranthambore National Park.

From theme based literary and photography tours, to tailor-made safaris, hot-air ballooning, royal train rides, staying in opulent palaces and indulging in organic cuisines, Ibex Expeditions promises you a rustic, unique experience soaked in luxury.

You can taking culinary lessons, learn the art of playing cricket, cycle around Jal Mahal (Water Palace) and visit the Maharaja’s cenotaphs at Gaitore, discover the City Palace Complex and learn about the daily life of Maharajas. You can fly kites with the locals, learn the art of Bollywood dance, take a private Yoga class or just amble about! There is a lot to do in Rajasthan this winter.

Get in touch with us at ibex@ibexexpeditions.com to know more about our journeys to this magnificent state.

The Songs of Old Believers – Trans-Siberian Journey

 

For many travellers who ride the Trans-Siberian Railway (spanning eight time zones, goes from Russia to the far east via China and Mongolia, at 9,289km, it is the third longest continuous service railway in the world), visiting the Old Believers and listening to them sing is one of the top features of their journey.

The Old Believers are Eastern Orthodox Christians who maintain the practices of the Eastern Orthodox Church that existed prior to the reforms of Partriach Nikon of Moscow between 1652 and 1666. They resisted his liturgical and doctrinal reforms. Exiled for holding on to their religious beliefs, some were sent to #LakeBaikal in Siberia. Their isolation allowed them to preserve their culture, their language and clothes and most important, their music.

In #Tarbagatay, Siberia is where most of the Old Believers live. The village is reminiscent of a 17th century space, with colourful houses and vibrant dress codes. The women sing haunting songs, helping visitors understand their lives and struggles.

Perhaps the highest concentration of older established Old Believer communities, with foundations dating back hundreds of years, can be found concentrated in Eastern Siberia, specifically the Transbaikal region in desolate areas of Buryatia and Zabaykalsky Krai

Today Siberia’s Old Believers number more than 200,000. In villages around #UlanUde, their #polyphonic singing, culture and way of life have been added to the #UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage for protection and preservation.

Join us in our culturally immersive journeys!

Antarctica Matters—Join Us On Our Journey with a Purpose March 2019

Antarctica has always been a land held with intrigue. The whitest, driest, coldest, windiest continent on earth was collectively decided to be preserved by twelve countries, including Russia, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and the United States.

The Antarctica Treaty System was signed in 1959, and an environmental protocol was added to it in 1998.  It states that Antarctica is to be a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science,” and prohibits all activities relating to Antarctic mineral resources, except as is necessary for scientific research. But the treaty is not set in stone. In 50 years’ time, 1948, the part of the treaty that prohibits mining and resource extraction could come under review.

Meanwhile, climate change is playing its part. One of its largest glaciers was splintered off sometime last year, while its sea ice is shrinking at a rapid pace. Recently, scientists, discovered a whistling sound coming from the Ross ice shelf, which many scientists are linking to the decreasing ice. Krill, the main food source for all wildlife of Antarctica is also reducing at a fast pace.

Keeping the urgency to protect this pristine land in mind, we at Ibex Expeditions, in partnership with Polar Latitudes, will be taking an expedition to Antarctica in March 2019. Led by artist and explorer Himali Singh Soin, this journey with a purpose is meant to turn all participants into Antarctica Ambassadors, pledging to support all causes related to preserving the big white continent.

Previously, our Antarctica journey has been supported by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO), Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Skal International, and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Our journeys are never without their share of fun of course! You will witness wildlife you can perhaps only witness in Antarctica. There might be times when you feel like you are on another planet, as is beautifully explained by Himali Soin in this essay titled “Voyage to a White Mars”. There might be a moment when you feel an urgent need to take a dip into the icy cold water, as Himraj Soin had while on his journey described here. 

Join us in our mission to preserve Antarctica.

Details of the journey here: https://www.facebook.com/events/254332385079622/

Email us at ibex@ibexexpeditions.com for more details.

Adventures in Tuscany with Adventure Travel World Summit 2018

The past few days have been a whirlwind for us at Ibex Expeditions.  The Adventure Travel & Trade Association’s (ATTA) annual Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) is taking place in the dreamy, historic, high cultured land of Tuscany, Italy.

The week-long summit, 14th to 19th October at Montecatini Terme has been a wonderfully educational, fun-filled event so far. The best adventurers, explorers, outdoor educators, tour operators from all over the world have gathered here in one space to talk about ethical adventure travel and think about ways of creating a better space for the planet. The theme of summit, “Wellspring” is an apt one, inspiring us to truly understand the richness of our planet. Adventure travel, in its truest, raw form, means going back to the source — the source of our relationship with nature. “The source of vitality and inspiration, the wellspring, that renews our joy in life and our sense of stewardship in this fragile world.”

EXPLORING TUSCANY

Apart from a number of scintillating lectures and workshops, we have also had the opportunity to take out time and explore Tuscany. A bunch of us went on a three-day hike up the Pania della Croche in the  Apuan Alps. On our way, we made organic pasta, peeled hazel nuts, goofed about, all the while soaking in the serenity of our surroundings. The colours of nature are bright and beautiful; they stand out even more in the Apuan Alps.

 

The breakfast session with the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) members was an eye-opening event. The ATCF is a non-profit that funds local projects engaged in the conservation of unique natural and cultural resources of adventure travel destinations. We learnt about good conservation projects and practice around the world. As board member, we were fortunate to participate as jury members for the 2018 grant finalists.

On 19th October, Mandip Singh Soin will be heading to Florence to give a talk on his personal experiences and adventures as a traveller and explorer.

This has been a wonderful, fulfilling journey for us!

Mandip Singh Soin Speaker at Uttarakhand Investor Summit

 

A tourism and hospitality session was held at the recently concluded Destination Uttarakhand Investors’ Summit on 7th October in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Among the speakers at the session which included the likes of Alphons Kannanthanam, Tourism Minister of India, Satpal Maharaj , Minister of Uttarakhand, Dilip Jawalkar ,  Secretary, Uttarakhand Tourism was Mandip Singh Soin. He spoke about how ecotourism can become the next step of the tourism sector, advising entrepreneurs to “go sustainable and get certified” to get its maximum benefit.

The event was covered by The Pioneer. Link to the full article here:

https://www.dailypioneer.com/2018/state-editions/u—khand-offers-great-opportunities-in-yoga-and-adventure-tourism-alphons.html

 

Tales of an Explorer – Talk by Mandip Singh Soin in Florence

 

Soon after finishing an epic Adventure Travel Summit 2018 in Tuscany #ATWS2018, explorer and Ibex Expeditions’ founder Mandip Singh Soin will be heading to dreamy Florence to give a lecture on his favourite subject – Tales of an Explorer. In an evening session at the Rifugio Gualdo Sede Sesto Fiorentino, a recreational sports and cultural centre, Mandip will regale the audience with his tales of adventures in lands far and beyond.

Details of the event

Tales of an Explorer by Mandip Singh Soin

Date: Saturday, 19th October
Time: 6:30PM onwards
Place: Rifugio Gualdo Sede Sesto Fiorentino: Via corsi salviati 46, Sesto Fiorentino
Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/584780935258045/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1539329859739312