Category Archives: Travel

The Mouth of Truth, Rome

La Bocca della Verità, or the Mouth of Truth, is a marble sculpture located in the portico of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin church in Rome, Italy. The circular disc has a face carved with open eyes, nose, and mouth.

The mouth of Truth
Dare to Lie?

The origin of the sculpture is unknown. Some say it was a drain cover while others assert that the face in the sculpture is of the God of the sea—Oceanus. There’s also an account claiming that it was used as a drain pipe to drain the blood of the sacrificed cattle.

The allure of the sculpture is due to the medieval myth associated with it. If you have watched the movie, Roman Holiday, then you might be familiar with it. (And if you haven’t watched the movie yet, do watch it. It’s really a beautiful movie.)

The sculpture was used to ferret out the liars. If you speak a lie with your hand inside the disc, the mouth is supposed to snap shut cutting off your hand.

Hordes of tourists, who visit Rome put their hand in the sculpture’s mouth to test out the theory.

At the La Bocca della Verità

You guys know me—I always speak the truth, and nothing but the truth 😀 So, I had nothing to prove. But I had gone to Rome with my parents, and it’s always better to have outside testimony about your honesty 😛

Reasons you should check out the Mouth of Truth when you visit Rome:
  • The peculiar sculpture is worth looking even without the myth.
  • You definitely want a picture of you with your hand inside the sculpture’s mouth. Such memories are the reason we carry cameras.

So, when you visit Rome, do check out La Bocca della Verità.

Have you visited Rome? Do share your experience with me.

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Strokkur Geyser, Iceland

The word geyser is derived from the Great Geysir. However, Geysir is very unreliable these days. Strokkur, on the other hand, with its reliable eruption cycle has become a more popular tourist destination. Strokkur is a fountain geyser located in the geothermal field in the Haukadalur valley in Iceland. Nearby are located many smaller geysers (as well as the Geysir).

Strokkur was supposedly set off during an earthquake in 1789. It is a very energetic geyser, the water sprouting around 10-20m high. At any time of the day, you can see rings of tourists, cameras in hand, waiting for the geyser to erupt. And Strokkur doesn’t disappoint; it erupts every 8-10 minutes sending fumes of sulphur your way if you stand in the direction of the wind.

Strokkur- waiting
Waiting for the Strokkur geyser to erupt

Continue reading Strokkur Geyser, Iceland

The way to Swachh India

Can you guess the location of the picture? Filthy

Frankly, it could be any place in India. Filthy road-side habits coupled with piles of garbage littered around has become a trademark of our country. It is sad that India, who invented flush toilets is the same country where most people have no toilets in their house. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Sanitation is more important than political independence.” Then why, even after 68 years of independence is clean India still a dream? The irony is everyone wants to see a clean India, the people, the government…but everyone expects others to do it. So, when our prime minister, Narendra Modi took it upon himself to pick a broom, and start a campaign for swachh Bharat, he was considered a pioneer. It triggered an enthusiasm among the people.

Banega Swachh India

RB and NDTV partnered to launch a five year ambitious programme, Banega Swachh India to address the sanitation and hygiene needs in India. The campaign aims at promoting awareness about sanitation and hygiene, and also team up with NGO’s to build infra-structure and toilets in India. This is an alarming task considering the nature of the campaign, and the current state of the country.

As a part of this campaign, swachh express was flagged off, which aimed to create awareness among the people by interactive videos, distributing flyer, hand-washing sessions, etc. Swachh India is not just about taking a broom and cleaning up your area, but maintaining good sanitation practices like not littering the streets with garbage,avoiding defecating in the open, and also includes  personal hygiene like washing hands. In short, it is a campaign to promote a healthy India along with Swachh India.

When Nihal from Indiblogger called to inform me, that I could join the swachh express during their journey in Maharashtra state, I was jubilant. Thus, I got to experience the live working of the campaign, and record how it affected/influenced the people. Continue reading The way to Swachh India