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In this issue

There’s something about a crumbling building that quickens my pulse. I’ve seen my fair share but it doesn’t cease to amaze me how much wonder and joy and, well, grief, silent stones can evoke. My favouritest heritage tour was a rain-drenched romp through the Khmer temples of Cambodia a few years ago. Sometimes in my dreams, I still see the countless faces of Bayon. It was part adventure and part ticking-something-off-abucket- list. In other words, entirely usual. But a heritage holiday is also about discovery in the truest sense of the word. Every time we do a heritage issue, my jaw drops unfailingly at all the built wealth right under our noses. None of that same old same old. Not in India. The big catch this issue is Amitabha Gupta’s almost encyclopaedic exploration of the terracotta mosques of Bengal, which actually predate its more celebrated temples of the same material. The breathtaking palaces of Bhuj will have you quaking in your boots. We rediscover Bundelkhand and stumble upon a plethora of Chandella temples beyond Khajuraho (and no less spectacular). We take a ride on Indian Railways’ latest tourist train—the Desert Circuit Special. Anjum Hasan muses about the heritage of art on a visit to Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal. Elsewhere in the issue, Steve McCurry’s iconic images of India; 10 things to do in Mauritius; the most scenic train ride in America; and a look-in on what is possibly the world’s most responsible zoo. Happy reading in the new year.

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