My Top 3 Inspiring Places in India (Second Prize Winners): Abhilash Surendran & Abhishek Singh Rathore

Abhilash Surendran’s Entry

Kathakali preparation – Cochin, Kerala

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Kathakali Show Preparation (Cochin, Kerala)
While a kathakali dance show takes only an hour or so, the preparation for the dance – makeup and costumes – takes about 2 to 3 hours generally. The artist lies down for this entire time, patiently getting his face inked for the performance. I think it is inspiring, because sometimes lengthy preparation is indeed required for a truly mesmerising performance.
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Sunset (Tarkali, Maharashtra)
This sunset is at a place called Tarkarli, in Southern Maharashtra. Just 12 km from the state of Goa. While everybody visits Goa for it’s beaches, how many can vouch to have visited Tarkarli? I don’t think I have seen such a beautiful sunset anywhere else. It inspires me to see more of the unknown locations in India. 
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Sudder Street (Kolkata, West Bengal)
In the backpacker alley of Sudder street, a local rickshaw-wallah sits down and encourages a group of East European Hare Krishnas, while they perform a devotional song. The scene was extremely inspiring to me at how easy it is to accept and acknowledge other cultures, and how we can all be better humans by just encouraging the beautiful things that we see around us. 

Abhishek Singh Rathore’s Entry


Trees depict life like no other

Trees depict life like no other. They stand still at their place and observe everything from birth to death again and again. Yes,they get weak but they continue to provide life. The tree in the picture taken holds a firm line between life and death. Although, it is more than 100 years old but it’s surreal beauty continues to amaze. What’s sad about the picture is the surrounding. I’ll consider this giant tree for an old lady who stands alone in her family and although, she grieves for the loss she has endured over the years by the hands of human beings (deforestation), she still hasn’t forgotten her responsibility i.e. to give and preach. She continues to give us life (which i don’t need to explain how) and she also preaches us all about the way of life. It’s high time we learn from them and think of them as our own. If it was up to me, I’d just sit in front of it and enjoy its beauty all day long  along with contemplating life.

The Jama Masjid is a beautiful testament to the Power of Unity

Jama Masjid was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees, and was inaugurated by an I mam from Bukhara, which is present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates, four towers and two 40 m high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 persons. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshipers. The story of this place inspires me a lot because it shows the power of unity; 25000 people are gathering to pray to Allah. 

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Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is an Inspiration in the Spirit of Service

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent Sikh Gurudwara in Delhi. Known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru Harkrishan and the ‘Sarovar’ pool, the Gurudwara serves free langar to more than 50,000 citizens per day. It was built during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II by the Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783. This place is an inspiration for me as it greets people from every religion equally . The langar that they provide is served free of cost from 12am till 12pm everyday and people from all backgrounds can have it. This is one the the most inspirational and beautiful things about the Sikh culture and should indeed be followed by every person. 


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