Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Grand Tour

The Renaissance marked the next important stage in the history of travel. The reappearance of tourism in Europe follows the Italian Renaissance and the development of a full scale urban system and network of roads. By the end of the fifteenth century Italy itself became the object of attention. At this time Italy was Eupore's economic and cultural leader. It was, however, totallydisunited politically. Wars were fought on Italian soil. These wars played an important part in the dissemination of the Renaissance and the subsequent development of the grand tour. Although it declined materially, Italy was still the intellectual of north-west Europe it represented both the classical heritage and all the latest ideas and inventions. A growing number of young noblemen were being sent abroad to complete their education in France and Italy.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Roman Empire and Pleasure Travel


The concept of pleasure travel as it existed in the west can be associated with the Roman empire. Roman probably where the first pleasure travellers. Travel received a great stimulus from the good accomodation system and security of the Roman empire.Romans probably were the firsrt pleasure travellers. Travel received a great stimulus from the good communication system and security of the Roman empire. There existed a fine network of roads and new roads were built increasingly wherever the Romas went. Travels literature was published extensicely giving routs, the names of the major roads, distances between places routes, the names of the major roads, distances between places and time required in tracelling to them. The Romans were able to travel over a hundred or more miles in a day using relays of horses. They journeyed primarily to see famous temple in the Mediterranean area, particulary the monuments and the famous pyramids of Egypt. The Romans also travelled during holiday occasions, particularly the famous Olympic Games. Spas and seaside resorts which developed during this period may be associated dwith pleasure travel. Medicinal baths and seaside roesorts which later were named as spas were very popular with the Romans. The inland spa had its orign in a belief in the efficacy of its mineral waters for medicinal purposes, either by drinking the water or by immersing in it. The patients using the spas wourld require certain diversions, and gradually, the spa resorts added facilities for pleasure and entertainment to their medical facilities. The visitors now not only enjoyed the medical bath but also various forms of intertainments. Theatrical productions, athletic competitions, festival and other forms of intertainment and amusement were often provided at the sites, where spas were located. The spa had became extremely popular with travellers.

Subsequent development of spas after their orginal use for recreational purpose by the Romans played a big role in the development of pleasure travel in many countries in Europe. Development of verious seaside resort is also linked with it. In the later half of the eighteenth century, people started realisting the possible curative effect of sea water. Sea water is also became very popular and many belived that bathing in sea water was more benificial

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Marco Polo spent almost 25 years in Asia

Fascinating Travel Accounts
Marco Polo's the fearless traveller, spent almost twenty-five years in Asia during the later part of the 13th century. His wonderlust could well have been inherited from his father. Yong Marco Polo left Venice in the year 1271 with his father  and uncle. The Three together travelled through persia and Afghanistan to the "roof of the world" , The main unknown Pamir Plateau. After crossing the wind-swept Gobi desirt, they reached Kublai Khan's place and remained in China for over twenty years. On his way back home, he stopped in Sumatra, Java, India and Ceylon.
The great travellers who ventured to explore distant land had fascinating accounts of their travels. Even if we go back just a few hundred years to the third century A.D. since the first exploration of Alexander the great ,or only about seven amazing explorations crossing many lands, we get fascinating accounts of travellers of these great persons.

The first medieval travel to reach the orient was probably jenjamin of Tudela, a Jewish scholar, who left Saragossa in the year A.D. 1160. He wrote a detailed account of his thirteen year long journey through Europe, Persia and India, giving information on the Jewish communications, and the geography of various places he had visited. Yet another famous traveller who recorded interesting account of his travel experieces was Ibn Batuath. Ibn Batutah wrote a detailed dairy of his travel experienced. He was born at Tangier in A. D. 1304. In the year A.D. 1325, he left his home and passing through various contries in Africa and West Asia, crossed the Sindhu in A.D. 1333. His travels took him to as far places as Indonesia and China. Out of a total of more than 17,000 miles, he covered more than 14,000 miles in the course of his travels through India, The Maldives and Ceylon.

Marco Polo's description of a place Zipangu (The present Day Japan) in his memmoirs, set the course for columbus on his historic journey in 1492. Two of columbus's contemporaries who also became famous and wrote excellent account were vasco da Gama - who opened the sea route from western Europe to India in 1498 - and Ferdinand Megellan whose ship sailed around the world.

We also have account of some more travellers from Europe who visited India during the period discribed above. Francisco Friar, John of Monte Corvino, visited India on his way to and back from China during the last decade of the thirteenth century. Mention may also be made of the famous Portuguese chronicle the Commentaries of the Great Alfonso D' Albuquerque.

Later on , in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many more European monks, travellers and adventurers visited India and many other places in search of knowledge. The first great sailor to do a westward circumnavigation of the world was Francis Drake who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in the year 1581. From 1768 to 1779 Captain James Cook made three long voyages to the Pacific in search of a non-existent southern continent mentioned by Ptolemy who earlier in the 2nd century A.D. had travelled widely and who wrote an eight - volume work on geography.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Early Travellers to India

Perhaps the earliest travellers from distant landsto the Indain soil where the trading Persains. Evidence of caravans of Persians visiting India lies engraved in the inscriptions dating to the persian king Darius. During the rule of the Guptas, there was free access to the ports along the Western Coast, seaborne commerce access to the ports along the coast, seaborne commerce With Europe through Egypt was yet another season for travel in and around the country. There are aslo references of many known Persians, who visited the Indain soil for commerce and trade. There are aslo a mention of cultural exchange between Persia and India. Reference has also been made to the influence of Persian customs in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.

Great travellers from various far away lands visited India. Probably the greatest traveller remembered from the distant past is Hieun-tsang. A devout Chinese Buddhist, he made the perilous journey to India around A.D. 633. His main mission was to collect and translate ancient Buddhist scriptures. Some other travellers whose names need special mention are Alexander the Great Marco Polo, Benjamin of Tudela, Ibn Batutah, Francisco Friar, Alfonso D' Albuquerque and Mark Twain.

One of the important developments during this period was the emergence of some sort of communication system and accomodation. Development of trade and commerce necessitated this development. Shulgi, the ruler of ancient Babylonia, claimed to have built roads and rest houses at various places for wayfarers. With trade and commerce forming a link in development, it was inevitable that some sort of commucation system connecting the centres of trade, commerce and learning were found to be in good shape, When Alexander the Great, during his journey, reached India, he found well maintained roads covered with shady trees. Along one royal highway, 1920 kilometers long and about 19 metres wide, people travelled in chariots, palanquins, bullock carts on horses, camels and elephants.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Travel for religious purpose

Ashoka Samrat
During the middle ages, travel for religious purpose assumed a significant importance. The pratice for travelling for religious purpose became a well established custom in many parts of the world. By the end of the Middle ages, a large number of pilgrims were travelling to the main shrines in Europe and elsewhere. The adoption and spread of Christianity subsequently led to numerous pilgrims making their way to the holy land. So deep and strong was the hold of faith that the ritual of pilgrimag flourished over the centuries. It becames a great unifing force and the pilgrimages strengthened religious bonds. The pilgrimages also provided the necessary impetus for a stay at home agrarian agrarian society to break out of its narrow geographical confines and visit places associated with religion. It also served as a powerful means of forging unity and understanding between peoples from widely different regious.In India, pilgrim trave assumed a great importance. Emperor Ashoka the Great, travelled a great deal in his eagerness to spread doctrines of Buddha. Ashoka and his entourage first travelled to Nepal starting from Patliputra and then ventured to Lumbini Gardens, the land of Buddha's birth, on to Kapilvastu, the place where Buddha spent his childhood. From here, he went to Sarnath, where Buddha spent many years of his life and finally to Gaya, where Buddha got enlightenment. Through his travels, Emperor Ashoka had special memorials set up each port and also rest houses where travellers could rest.
Lord Gautam Buddha
 Harsha was another emperor who was greatly influenced by the Buddhist scriptures. He built institutions and Dharamshalas for the travellers. Rest houses wehre built in towns and villages. Numerous monsteries and temples were aslo built for the pilgrims.

The powerful influences of a crusanding religion that slowly penetrated a foreign land such as Christianity Europe and later in America and Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism in Asia took places to permit an assimilation and perpetuation of very distinctive languages, literature, art , architecture, philosophy and forms of government. Religion thus played and continued to play a crucial part in travel.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Travel for Seeking Knowledge

The urge to explore new lands and to seek new knowledge in ancient and distant lands was yet another motive of travellers in subsequent periods. Although trade and comerce continued to be the strong force for many travellers to undertake journeys to distant lands, seeking new knowledge and exploring the unexplored lands was becoming a strong urge in ancient times. Homer's great work odyssey records the wanderlust of the ancient Greeks and Romans. There are innumerable references to great explorers who spent many formidable years of their lives in search of knowledge. These great explorers can perhaps, be creaited with the distinction of being the pioneers who subsequently paved the way for modern day travel

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Travel for Trade and Commerce

Travel for trade and commerce was, however, the  strongest force in the ancient past for seeking fortunes. Throughtout history, traders and merchants have travelled to far off lands in order to trade with other nations and tribes. Travellers from distant lands. started moving about in large numbers and visited many places for the purposes of commerce. With the gradual opening of the trade routes, travel become easier as well as regulated. At the market-places, travellers made contacts with each other which resulted in increased flow of trade commerce. Trade relations gradually matured into cultural relations and better understanding of each other's way of life. This was a favourable development towards increase in travel activity during this period.


Some of the earliest traveller probably were the Phoenicians. They were probably the first real traveller in the modern sense. These were also the people who were created for the invention of money. The medium of money was being used in various Business and commrical dealings. Many trader could now pay for their travel to different centres of trade and commerce as also for the accomodation they required. The invention of money and the development of trade and commerce beginning about 3000 B. C. perhaps can be said to be the most significant  development of the time which paved the way for the development and organization of travel.

Early travel in the orient, particularly in India and China, was also largely based on trade and commerce. Travel to India to particular was undertaken by travellers form all over the incient world.
Both Inda and China  enjoyed reputation of being countries of fabulas wealth  where trade and commerce flourished. It is on record that long before the Christian era, traveller visited India in search of fortune. This tend contined and became more marked in course of time with Eroupeans heading towards Indain shores for the sole purpose of trade and commerce.