Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Odisha – The Land That Time Forgot in The Nikkei Asian Review

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My latest story with French journalist Laure Siegel on Odisha, one of India’s least visited states, and its fledgling tourist industry, published in the Nikkei Asian Review.

PURI, India — “Jay Jagannath! Jay Jagannath!” A sea of people chants the sacred mantra while pulling on thick ropes hauling three massive, 14-meter-high wooden carts decorated in red and gold. The carts, loaded with dozens of priests, carry the statues of Jagannath, the Hindu lord of the universe, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra.

There are almost no foreigners among the 700,000 visitors who have made the pilgrimage to Puri, this coastal city in India’s eastern state of Odisha, formerly Orissa — even though the Ratha Yatra, as the cart festival is called, is one of the larger and most colorful religious events in India….

Read the full story here.

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