Saturday, 6 July 2013

Graceful Greece: The Introduction

Once I asked myself, what would I have been if not an academician? An archeologist! A quick and spontaneous answer came from within. I don't know when I started getting fascinated with the so called boring subject history. Of course not from my school days. Like most of us, passing the exam of history to me was mugging the answers to the probable questions and vomiting them on the answer sheets. The interest has grown much later and unknowingly. After the completion of my PhD, when I got a chance to step outside the familiar world I had been living in till then, I did not hesitate much to accept the offers. Now I am about to complete three years of my exile from India. Two of the three years, I had got to live alone, completely of my own. It was a blessing in disguise for me. I could never be what I am today without those two years. The window of time offered me a good expanse of time to know and explore my own self. I feel blessed and privileged to get a chance of exploring self so closely so early in life. I met two more loves of my life during this time: traveling and catching magic moments through my lens. I explored the world of photography to the extent I could in my limited time and enjoyed every bit of it. I traveled madly all alone in the hinterlands of unknown countries and soaked in every moment I spent with the nature. Some when in that period of two years, I had grown a knack for learning the past. All of a sudden, I started getting more and more curious on interesting historical accounts across the world and presumably the interest for visiting (pre-)historical sites has got multiplied thereafter.  My list of to-be-visited places has been growing since then. My visits to historical places have got a new meaning. I could get connected to the past history immediately and start somnambulating in the imaginary world that would have thrived once on the site. Often my friends say how much they hate to visit museums. On the contrary, I love museums! Say me a boring person, but who cares. India is a paradise for those desiring to travel in the past. But traveling was a luxury for my family when I was young. With a meager salary of a high school teacher and with absolutely zero support from pedigree, my parents could hardly afford to travel. But I had dreams to fly and due to God's grace I have now got wings to fly. So no more stopping! During my three years of stay in abroad, whenever and wherever I have got a chance to visit and explore new places, I jumped into with immense curiosity and caught in my camera every possible moment that clicked in my eyes. With the imminent call from my motherland and mother, I am in the phase of wrapping up and covering the left over places in Europe that I dreamt of visiting some day. Back in India, a gigantic treasure trove is waiting for me to be explored. I could not be an archeologist. But at least I can try to keep a tab on new findings and record my experiences of traveling marvelous places. So here I take the first leap towards  my dream project.

Last month I visited Greece and I am so impressed that I thought of sharing the experience with you. So through this post, I plan to take you all the way to Greece! Before we fly to south east Europe, I want to stimulate you with a very recent archeological discovery in southeast Asia. Lets have a quick peek to the thrilling archeological discovery that had sent me on edge recently. A group of archeologists have discovered an ancient city that have been lost for about 1200 years to the mist and undergrowth of Cambodia. Believed to be the lost city of Mahendraparvata (Mountain of the Great Indra) founded by King Jayavarman II, the first king of  Khmer Empire, back in 802 AD, the city is located on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain called Phnom Kulen deep in the hinterland of Cambodia.  The Khmer Empire claims an exalted place in the history of southeast Asia in connection with the glorious Angkor Wat Temple complex in Cambodia, celebrated as the largest Hindu Temple complex (dedicated to lord Vishnu) and the largest religious monument in the world.
The Angkor Wat temple by dusk
The illustrious Angkor Wat complex was envisioned and erected during the reign of Khmer king Suryavarman II  in the 12th century AD in Yoshodharapura (present day Angkor in Cambodia). Mahendraparvata located about 25 miles west of Angkor Wat, predates the famed structure for about 350 years. Along with Amarendrapura and Hariharalaya, Mahendraparvata is thought to be one of the three capitals during the reign of Jayavarman II. The archeologists found the reference of Mahendraparvata from the inscriptions on the Ak Yum temple in the Angkor area and from the ancient scriptures. This led to an extensive search using air-borne Lidar technology in the  Phnom Kulen area of Cambodian mountains and subsequent discovery of an unusual place. With immense hope, the Australian archeologist David Evans of University of Sydney and Jean-Baptiste Chevance, director of the Archaeology and Development Foundation in London led an arduous expedition through the thick Cambodian jungles of the mountainous Phnom Kulen region and finally stumbled upon ancient temples, canals, and Bhuddas carved into rock, now overgrown with moss. As many as 30 temples have been discovered already. Such an exciting finding, isn't it? I wish I was part of the expedition team. I hope you are amply geared up by now. Let me take this opportunity and pamper you with the exotic stories and experiences from my Greece visit.  So lets fly from southeast Asia to south east Europe.

First, let us glance through the basic facts about the country. Greece, officially The Hellenic Rebublic is an European country of 11 million people (1/9th of the population of West Bengal!!) with Athens as the capital and largest city. Greece shares its border with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, and Bulgaria and Turkey. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece features a vast number of islands (approximately 1,400, of which 227 are inhabited), including Crete, the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, and the Ionian Islands among others.
Greece and its territory
Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains, of which Mount Olympus is the highest at 2,917 m (9,570 ft) (In Greek mythology, Olympus was regarded as the "home" of the Twelve Olympian Greek gods: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Hestia, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, and Hermes). It homes 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The modern Greek state, which encompasses much of the historical core of Greek civilization, was established in 1830, following the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire of Turkey.

For one who loves history so much, Greece is truly a paradise. Known to be the birth place of western civilization, Greece has made the world indebted to it in numerous ways.  I was truly excited when me and my better half Ashish decided to make a trip to Greece for ten days, from 19th to 29th May. And I must say that Greece did not disappoint us.  It was really an enriching and cherishing experience, in fact, more than what I expected. As always Ashish takes care of the basic formalities, ticket, hotel booking etc and I do background studies, decide on the places and mark all the sites of interest in each of the places that we plan to visit. The most interesting part of my job is to comb through Internet to find the interesting stories/(pre-)historical accounts/mythological accounts associated with the sites of interest and story-tell them to Ashish as and when we visit the sites. In sort, I act as a guide. Although, unlike them I do not have to repeat the stories again and again uncountably many times. Instead, I not only get to learn new things in each visit but also get to narrate them to an avid listener. That's the sheer joy of my job. Yes, I love my job to the core! In the course of my finding and visit, I have gathered some bits and pieces of Greek culture and mythology. Comparing with Indian counterparts, I have got a mixed feeling on them. I wish to mix all that I learnt so far about the country and my experience during the visit. Hope you will enjoy the account.

When it comes to deciding on the places to visit, a number of factors play key roles. I don't just choose the most famous and the most visited places, rather I go for the uncommon places featuring something truly unique and arresting. At times a different logic comes into play. As and when I get the references to unusual places from books/stories of one of my favorite authors,  I keep a tab and cherish a dream to visit the place some day. If and when there is an opportunity, those places pop up as my top priorities. It gives me an extraordinary feeling to walk on the path once taken by the characters or the authors of those stories. (It may not be always true that the author have visited the place. But I tend to believe that they did.) I can not even put my feeling into words. Let me give some instances. The day I learnt about Bhimbetka from the story 'Bhopal Rahasya', one of the wondrous stories in the Kakababu series authored by Sunil Gangopadhyay, I  was determined to visit the place before I die. And finally I did so during my last visit to India in January'13. While Kakababu series need no introduction to any Bengali irrespective of age and generation, the rustic Bhimbetka shrouded in the southern edge of Vidhyachal hills remains mostly unheard. You will be amazed to know that Bhimbetka rock shelters, located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh exhibit the earliest traces of human existence in India. The shelters have been inhabited from more than 100,000 years ago. Curiously enough, the place derives its uncommon name due to Bhima, the third Pandava in the tale Mahabharata who is believed to take a refuge at the place sometime after the Pandavas clandestine escape from the Lakshagriha in Varnavrat (presently in Uttar Pradesh, India). The word Bhimbetka is said to be derived from Bhimbaithka, meaning "sitting place of Bhima". More on Bhimbetka is coming soon in a different blog. So stay tuned to my blog. Let me tell you another instance where I was more excited to visit a rather unknown place than more famous and popular tourist places in Switzerland. I lived in Switzerland for a year and had travelled across the depth and breadth of the country, even more than any average swiss does in his/her life time. When it comes to visiting Switzerland, the most hyped train ride to Jungfrau, the highest peak in the Alps, more famously known as the 'Top of Europe' figures out at the top of most of those visiting Switzerland. I agree that Jungfrau is incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring. But believe me, what I derived from my visit to a rather less known waterfalls in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland named Reichenbach Falls is absolutely out-of-the-world. What so special about the falls? Well, I hope you remember the shrewd detective Sherlock Holmes, the celebrated creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a steep cliff dangerously close to the waterfalls, where Sir Arther decided to set the stage for his hero, Sherlock Holmes to fight and fall to the death in a fierce clash with his notorious rival Professor Moriarty, at the end of "The Final Problem", first published in 1893.
The fierce clash between Sherlock Holmes and his rival Professor Moriarty beside Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland
There is a white star mark on the stone wall of the cliff indicating the place of the fierce clash. Such was the magic of the waterfalls and the town of Meiringen that Sir Arthur chose them as the setting of the fateful event of his charismatic hero. I was thrilled to think that I was walking through the same path once taken by Sir Arthur and his fictitious character Sherlock Holmes. The moment I knew about the place, it glided up to the top of my favorite places in Switzerland. Similar logics have come to play while fixing the places in Greece as well. But even before I tell you the places I zeroed down for my Greece tour and why did I end up with them, let me take you on a quick tour of my encounters with Greece starting from my childhood and until my recent visit to Greece.        

Thanks to my father for being a never-ending source of knowledge to me, as a kid even before getting familiar with the alphabet, I knew Greece as the land of the Greek hero Alexander, the Great and King Midas of Midas touch; as the land that witnessed the genesis of the Olympics in 776BC on the soil of Olympia; as the land that gawked agape the Greek messenger Pheidippides running from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce 'nenikekamen' ("We wοn") after defeating Persians in the year of 490 BC; as the land that mourned over the cruel fate of people of Troy in the Trojan War. I relished hearing the eventful life of Alexander for times enumerable. The legend says that Alexander was the son of Zeus rather than King of Macedon Philip II. Alexander lived a short span of 32 years from 356BC to 323BC. His uncommonness came to the light even at his young age. When Alexander was just ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for a huge price. The horse refused to be mounted by anyone. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he eventually managed. Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", and bought the horse for him. Alexander named it Bucephalas. When Alexander grew up, he set out for the conquest of the world. He conquered Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia and finally invaded Indian subcontinent. Bucephalas carried Alexander as far as Pakistan. In 326 BC, Alexander finally faced the valiant king Porus and his mighty army near the east bank of the river Jhilum (presently in the Punjab province of Pakistan), a tributary of the river Indus. A fierce battle followed thereafter, named the Battle of the Hydaspes; Hydaspes is the greek name of river Jhilum (I wonder how come Jhilum becomes Hydaspes in Greek!). Although Alexander won the battle, the gallantry of King Porus, a descendent of Yadu clan, remains immortal in the lullaby of the Indian mothers thereafter. Wounded in his shoulder, standing at over 2.1 m (7 feet) tall, king Porus was asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated. "Treat me, O Alexander, like a king" Porus responded. Alexander would indeed treat him like a king, allowing him to retain his kingship.
The surrender of King Porus
After the battle, Alexander was forced to retreat as his army refused to march forward. Not only because they were exhausted but also because of the fear of the prospect of facing the large armies of the kings of Magadha (present day Bihar, India) and Bengal who were ready to defend the army of Alexander on the other side of river Ganges. Alexander named a city  Bucephala (presently in Pakistan)  after his pet horse Bucephalus that died soon after the battle. In 323BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon due to unknown and controversial reason. In India, Alexander is still immortal in the name of Sekender Shah.

During my early schooling, my knowledge on Greece expanded further and I learnt about the genius trio, Socrates (469BC/470BC-399BC), Plato (428BC/427BC-346BC/347BC) and Aristotle (384BC-322BC) who not only laid the foundation of the western philosophy, but also set it on a solid base. Do you know that Socrates was the teacher of Plato who mentored Aristotle who in turn tutored Alexander, The Great? What a combination! Socrates is accredited as the founder of western philosophy, Plato taught the world the art of Platonic love, Aristotle gave the world the fifth element of the five elements Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Aether and Alexander showed the world that a mortal can dare to seek the end of the world. Herodotous (484BC-425BC), the "Father of History", who was the first historian in the west known to collect his materials systematically and arrange them in a well-constructed narrative is another son of Greece. You are thinking that I am missing another name in the list. Yes, you are right. How can I forget to mention the blind poet Homer, the author of the Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey? Believed to be born as early as 8th century BC, Homer defined the beginning of the western literature. The combined size of Iliad and Odyssey is 1/10 of the size of Mahabharata that claimed the honor of the longest epic in the world literature with 100,000 slokas.

By the time I entered my high school at the age of 10, I already turned into a story-book warm. A whole lot of mythological and historical characters and esoteric places in Greece were exposed to me through the books of legendary Bengali poets and writers Satyajit Ray, Sukumar Ray (father of Satyajit Ray), Dijendralal Ray. Sukumar Ray, himself one of the most popular children's story writers, the son of yet another prominent children's story writer Upendrakishore Ray and the father of legendary filmmaker,writer Satyajit Ray, introduced me to the mythological hero Hercules known for his enormous strength (thus the term Herculean task/effort) and for his twelve electrifying adventures known as twelve labours listed below: (1) Slay the Nemean Lion. (2) Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra. (3) Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis. (4) Capture the Erymanthian Boar. (5) Clean the Augean stables in a single day. (6) Slay the Stymphalian Birds. (7) Capture the Cretan Bull. (8) Steal the Mares of Diomedes. (9) Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. (10) Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon. (11) Steal the apples of the Hesperides. (12) Capture and bring back Cerberus. Among the twelve adventures, the one with nine-headed Hydra of Lerna had stricken me most.
The nine-headed Hydra of Lerna and Hercules
Nevertheless, each of the adventures is blood-tingling and rip-roaring. If you have not gone though Hercules by Sukumar Ray and if you have not reached in a state of mind where you have begun to think that such stories are meant for the children, my suggestion is to pick the book up and give it a try. By the way, does the above picture of Hercules strike any chord? Do you remember seeing something similar before? I am sure you did. Kaliya daman (The killing of serpant Kaliya) by Baby Krishna stated both in Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana! In fact, Megasthenes (350 – 290 BC) a Greek ethnographer and an ambassador of Seleucus I to the court of Chandragupta Maurya made reference to Herakles in his famous work Indica. Many scholars have suggested that the deity identified as Herakles was Krishna. Megasthenes described an Indian tribe called Sourasenoi, who especially worshipped Herakles in their land, and this land had two cities, Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river, the Jobares. As was common in the ancient period, the Greeks sometimes described foreign gods in terms of their own divinities, and there is a little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged; Herakles to Krishna, or Hari-Krishna: Methora to Mathura, where Krishna was born; Kleisobora to Krishnapura, meaning "the city of Krishna"; and the Jobares to the Yamuna, the famous river. It has been mentioned in a different source that when Alexander the Great confronted Porus, Porus's soldiers were carrying an image of Herakles in their vanguard. No doubt, it is pointing to the image of Lord Krishna.

 My next encounter was with Pegasus, the white colored winged divine stallion in the story 'Onko Sir, Golapi Babu arr Tipu' (Maths teacher, Golapi Babu and Tipu) by Satyajit Ray. Pegasus has an intriguing background. When his mother Medusa was decapitated by Perseus and the blood dripped down on the sea foam, Pegasus was born. Thus he was sired by Poseidon, the God of sea. Medusa, the mother of Pegasus, is the most dreaded monster in the greek mythology described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. Ray's story brings an extra-terestial being on the earth who is cursed and ousted from its land as it has committed a crime. It can only return after eliminating the cause of the sadness of a small boy named Tipu in the remote village of West Bengal.  Tipu soon becomes very sad when his Maths teacher complains  and convinces his father to keep Tipu away from fairy tales which are Tipu's most favorite pastimes.  The extra-terestial being Golapibabu, as named by Tipu, hatches a trap for the Maths teacher who loves to ride horses. During one such ride in a moonlit evening, the horse turns to a Pegasus by the magic of Golapibabu and more magic follows on the next morning. The math teacher himself asks Tipu's father to return back the confiscated books to Tipu.  
The Pegasus
The story 'Morurahasya' in the Professor Shonku series of Satyajit Ray carried me to the port city of Heraklion of Crete, the largest island of Greece. Crete was once the center of the Minoan civilization (2700–1420 BC), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. The Minoans left behind their intrigued script Linear A which remains undeciphered until today.
Linear A: The script used my Minoan Civilization, the oldest civilization in Europe 
Even today, the hair-raising story of the multi-talented wizard Professor Dimitrious keeps me in awe. The professor deciphers a Linear A tablet unearthed from an ancient antiquated temple of Crete and finds a formula for a divine medicine that transforms the consumer to a colossus (a monstrous being). To verify the effect of the medicine, Professor Dimitrious leaves his home nestled in the foot of Psilority hill, the  highest hill of Crete,  for Sahara dessert. Professor Shonku follows him only to discover a monster buried under the sand dunes of Sahara. What an exquisite story! A more detailed treatment on Crete and Minoan civilization will appear later.

A fascinating fusion of Indo-Greek history can be witnessed in the historical play, Chandragupta, penned by Dwijendralal Ray. I remember the story engrossed my adolescences for quite some time. The composer of 'Dhana Dhanya Pushpa Bhara' and 'Banga Amar Janani Amar' surely touched the chord as the Bengalis in their teens have been adorably flipping over the pages of the play for generations. The story outline is worth a brief description here. Chandragupta, the Prince of Magadha, after being overthrown and exiled by his half-brother Nanda, joined Sekendar Shah’s (Alexander, the Great) army where Seleucus taught him the art of warfare. Later, with the help of Chandraketu, the young king of Malay, Chanakya, the former Royal Priest and Katyayan, the former Prime Minister of Magadha, Chandragupta defeated and overthrown Nanda who was later put to death by Chankya. Chandraketu’s sister Chhaya fell in love with Chandragupta. After Sekandar Shah’s death, Seleucus became the emperor of Asia. He appointed Antigonus, an exiled Greek legionary, as the commander of his army. Antigonus fell in love with Seleucus’s daughter Helena, who was already in love with Chandragupta, and was refused by both her and Seleucus, mentioning Antigonus was an illegitimate child. Antigonus went back to Greece and upon questioning his mother, learnt that he was a legal son of none but Seleucus himself. Later, Seleucus attacked Magadha but was defeated. As a part of the peace treaty signed between Chanakya, new Prime Minister of Magadha and Seleucus, Chandragupta married Helena. Upon learning Chhaya also loved Chandragupta, Helena helped her to get married to him too. Antigonus comes back to India and declared that he is a legal son of Seleucus, and hence Helena’s half-brother and the Chandragupta’s brother-in-law.

Having said all that I remember on my encounters with Greece since my nascent days, I will conclude  with a mention of a unique diary that I came across in my childhood. I was then at the age of flipping the pages of story books that have more pictures than texts. It really takes me by surprise to think why did I remember a diary while so many other things are just washed away from the memory over the time. Yes, it was one of my dad's diary.  The diary was unique. On every page of the diary there was a sketch depicting some historic or mythological characters or scenes. It was as if someone has torn off pages from various books of history and mythology of various countries and just glued then together. Every page hides in it an interesting tale and invites a detailed look. Flipping the pages of the diary was my favorite pastime for quite some time. The pages of the diary introduced me with the fearless heroes of Indian freedom fighting movement, starting with Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, Nana Sahib, Tantia Tope, Mangal Pandey to Subhas Chandra Bose, Khudiram, Prafullya Chaki, Mahatma Gandhi. I got a glimpse of Krisna explaining the timeless wisdom of Bhagavata Gita to Arjun standing in the middle of Pandava and Kourava armies in the war of Kurushetra, Rama chasing the golden deer, demon Marich in disguise, following the request of Sita, Savitri holding the head of her beloved husband Satyavan on her tap and begging Yama standing nearby for Satyavan's life, Damayanti listening about Nala from the golden swan, Shakuntala adoring a fawn in Tapobana while Dushynta enjoys the scene from behind a tree nearby, Sharmitha having a clandestine rendezvous with Jajati, Debjani engaged in a passionate conversation with Kach. I met Aryabhtya, Bhaskarachrya, Adi Sankarachrya, King Asoka, Chandragupta Mourya on the pages of the same diary. Along with many other notable dignitaries and exquisite scenes, I met a valorous huntress, tall and slim, full of attitude, with quiver on her back, arrows and a bow accompanied by a stag. She was very unique. Her sparkling attitude could only be compared with Hindu Goddess Devi Durga and Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi.   It was Artemis, one of the most venerated ancient greek deities. What a blazing attitude! I wish every woman in the world was gifted with such sparks. Crime against women would not have been coined at all.
Artemis
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (in present day Turkey) was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. In 356 BC, not long after its completion, the temple was destroyed in a vainglorious act of arson by Herostratus, who set fire to the wooden roof-beams, seeking fame at any cost; thus the term herostratic fame. In Greek and Roman historical tradition, the temple's destruction coincided with the birth of Alexander the Great (around 20/21 July 356 BC). A Greek historian remarked that Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander's delivery to save her burning temple.
The temple of Artemis as depicted by a painter
Incidentally, of the seven wonders of the ancient world, five had Greek connections, namely Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (in present day Turkey), Statue of Zeus at Olympia (in Olympia present day Greece), Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (also known as the Mausoleum of Mausolus) (in Bodrum, present day Turkey), Colossus of Rhodes (in Rhodes Island, Greece), and the Lighthouse of Alexandria (present day Egypt). The two wonders not connected to Greece are Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Great Pyramid of Giza still remains one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Enough of story for now. It's the time to tell you the places we zeroed down to visit in Greece. Our plan was to cover two islands and two cities in the mainland of Greece. Following a lengthy debate we decided on Santorini and Crete from the array of the Greek islands and Meteora and Athens in the mainland. Ashish was extremely joyous as he had noticed Santorini in some of the Bollywood hindi films, e.g. Ek Tha Tiger and Chalte Chalte. Even I was awe-stuck when I saw the pictures of the island: milk-white colored houses with blue roof are nestled in the slopes of the volcanic island, looking down the houses is the turquoise Mediterranean sea with small volcanic islands emerging out everywhere. Oh God! the magical sundowns that the island offers will surely drive you crazy. It has its own bit of history too; very similar to the history of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the twin cities buried alive under the ash and magma of one of the  catastrophic volcanic eruptions of Mount Vesuvius of Italy that the world has ever seen. Needless to say, Crete was on my list due to my prior connection with the island, thanks to Satyajit Ray. We wanted to keep Rhodes Island in our list, but it was too far away from Crete and Santorini. Athens is an obvious choice when it comes to visit Greece. Not only because it is the capital city, but also it houses many important historical structures and sites. Meteora is the most unique and mystic place in our list. Let me not elaborate on it, until I write a post on it. It requires a very very special introduction. Although there are a number of competitors of Meteora, such as Olympia, Mechedonia, Delphi (known for Delphi's Oracle), Mycenae, we selected Meteora and after the visit, we unanimously agreed that it was not a wrong decision. In the next few posts, I will take you on a tour of Santorini, Crete, Meteora and Athens one by one. So a hearty welcome awaits for all of you to see these places through my eyes.







1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting, need more study to find out the cultural spread of ancient Vedic India.

    ReplyDelete