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tv   The Travel Show  BBC News  August 15, 2017 3:30am-4:01am BST

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has risen over 300. it's feared many more bodies are still trapped under the debris. the red cross says around 3,000 have lost their homes. president koroma has called it a national tragedy. after two days of mounting and widespread public pressure, president trump has finally and explicitly condemned white supremacist groups. in response to the fatal violence in charlottesville, virginia, mr trump described the ku klux klan, neo—nazis and others as thugs and criminals. state media in north korea is saying kim jong—un has received a full briefing from the army on a plan to launch missiles towards the us pacific territory of guam. but it says he will keep watching american actions for a time before deciding whether to order any launch. let's have a look at the front pages of this morning's newspapers: the financial times reports that the uk's largest adult education provider faces collapse after a damning report by the education watchdog 0fsted. the metro leads with the court case
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of an 18—year—old cyclist who killed a pedestrian and later went online to blame the victim. the ‘i' leads with the government's publication of its blueprint for leaving the eu. the daily express says that research has found that a daily glass of wine or pint of beer can reduce the risk of early death. the daily mail leads with the decision to silence big ben forfour years, so that repairs can be carried out on its tower. the daily telegraph also leads with mps‘ calls for a rethink about silencing the big ben. the guardian has in its front page donald trump's direct condemnation of far—right violence in charlottesville, 48 hours after the events now it's time for the travel show. india. a vast country, home to over a billion people, birthplace of illustrious, ancient civilisations. .. ..and today, a fast
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emerging global power. and 70 years after independence, india is still a diverse, ever—evolving assortment of cultures, creeds, religions and languages. heading off the well—worn tourist path, we're on a journey that spans this vast subcontinent from east to west, travelling from one of the driest places on earth... it's quite incredible, the sand. i mean, it'sjust hard crystals, white salt. you can probably taste it. ..to one of the wettest. these are areas really for the adventurous traveller. this isn't india on tap. i'm on a quest to find out how history, religion and politics have shaped india. and i also meet the people who call this intriguing and sometimes overwhelming country home.
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it's going to be an amazing journey. for thousands of years, india found its riches and influence through international trade. and at the heart of this enterprise was the sea. and the state of gujarat, with 1,000 miles of coastline, served as a shipping gateway to africa, arabia and beyond. this is as far west as you can get in india, and it's the mingling of all the influences from overseas that have helped make gujarat what it is today. the region is known as kutch, and its beaches, like here in mandvi, are a popular domestic tourist attraction.
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but this ancient port town's economy is still anchored in a much older maritime tradition. this is genuinely incredible. i'm in heaven. a huge shipyard with boats and ships at various stages of construction, all made from wood. in an industry dominated by bulky and expensive container ships, these smaller, more agile vessels are still in huge demand. so here are, really close up to these incredible hulks. this one is in mid—construction. we can actually go inside. i'm going to see how they make these things. apparently, each of these dhows takes two and a half years to make. for many of the workers,
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shipbuilding is a family tradition. and this ancient craft is now attracting unexpected new admirers. the region of kutch was home to one of the world's earliest civilisations, and can be traced back to prehistoric times. its old royal capital is the city of bhuj. its glory days are kind of over. it was badly hit by the 2001 earthquake. there's a kind of melancholy about this area, because obviously, this was once the real, opulent centre of a rich empire,
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trading empire anyway, and the hub was here. but what is still flourishing is bhuj‘s aso—year—old marketjust a few minutes away, where the trading tradition continues. what do they sell here? they sell everything. fruit, vegetables, fabric, groceries. all cultural backgrounds can be seen in the marketplace. here, as you can see, all different communities and ethnic groups come here. but kutch‘s natural harmony was disrupted 70 years ago, when the british left. the country was divided on religious grounds, with muslims partitioned to the north in pakistan, and hindus to the south in india.
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we drove out of the city towards the border with pakistan, along the way encountering some kutch herdsmen. they've been living here for 400 or 500 years. since, they migrated down south into kutch from sindh, which is now part of pakistan. ever since the split, there's been tension between the two governments, but to these herdsmen, national borders and religious differences mean little. for the people of kutch, india and pakistan or hindu/muslim is not that important. people are religious, of course, but they're living in harmony and the relationship between these two different groups is brotherly. when two countries were created from one, indelible scars were left on the psyche of the subcontinent. archive: independence has not
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yet brought them peace. rejoicing turned quickly into horror and mourning. in dramatic scenes, more than a million people died in religious rioting, and many millions more were displaced. this all used to be one, but now it's divided in two. and now the border itself has become a tourist attraction. that way is pakistan? that way is pakistan, about 70 kilometres up north. that is where the india—pakistan border is, which lies along the middle of kutch, which is a geographical valley. at nearly 500 metres above sea level, the highest point, kalo dungar hill, allows us a dramatic view of this geological phenomenon, the rann, or desert of kutch, which continues into pakistan. i wanted to get up closer to this natural wonder. it's quite incredible, the sand.
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i mean, it'sjust hard crystals, white salt. you can probably taste it. really unusual to see something like this. the further out i walked, the less lovely it became. it's actually quite incredible. it's more like snow or sludge than white sand or white crystals when it gets wet around here. i'm getting really deep into it. whoa! today, this shimmering wilderness is a healthy source of income for the region, thanks mainly to a three—month long festival throughout the winter. it is amazing. what was a vast, barren landscape has been transformed into this colourful complex, whereby at night, there's live music and other performances and by day, there's plenty of other activities.
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just here is what you might call the glamping quarters. 50,000 people have come here in the last couple of months alone. i guess this is a cross between a weekend festival and a holiday resort. it's basically a honeypot for the booming middle classes of india in what has been one of the fastest—growing economies in the world. the revival of interest in kutch culture, boosted by the festival, has been a lifeline for one group of locals in particular, folk musicians. music in particular is very rich over here. previously, they used to perform with their cattles, the shepherds. then afterwards, when they came home, they'd get together
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and their speech and songs are being performed. it's a day—to—day practice. one person plays two flutes of the same time? yes. now, for example, 500 cattles are there and only one shepherd is there. so he'll sit and start playing this and whatever musical reach this has, the cattles will not go out of that range. wow. and they enjoy the music, so the digestive system, the milk output increases. so this is the beauty of it. so it's almost like meditation. yeah. things are changing, definitely. as you say, tourism, so many music festivals are there, so they are invited in various parts of india and abroad. and of course, they are very well paid. and not only do i get
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a demonstration, but also the privilege of playing along... ..as lead tinkler. and yet again, i'm made aware that kutch culture is all about a sense of community and certainly not about religious segregation. from the bottom of my heart, i am telling you till today, in spiritual and music forms, hindus and muslims sit together and perform till today. for the next part of myjourney, i'm heading to the south—east of gujarat, to the town ofjunagadh.
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ah, the classic indian railway station. to me, nothing sums up this country better than the indian railway network. more than any political act, they say that this is what unifies this country. i remember as a small child being on an indian train and being totally overwhelmed by it, but i love it. ah, this feels imminent. who knows when this was made, this train? it looks pretty damn old to me. but wow, look at that. it's a network that ferries millions of passengers daily across tens of thousands of track to nearly 7,000 stations. it's one of the world's
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biggest employers. if there's one defining legacy of british rule, it's the vast, sprawling, creaking indian railway network. it's still the lifeblood of the country today. they sing. i'll tell you this. you wouldn't get this on a suburban train on a cold wednesday morning in london, or any other western city. this is unique. do you know everyone on this carriage? yeah. yeah, from the train journey? yeah, trainjourney, train friends. you're the train friends, excellent. you have a community. is it lucky to have a seat on the train? yes. very lucky. she's very lucky. like you.
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like me! so here we are, the ancient, fortified city of junagadh, crowded and noisy, as i expected. let's go explore. just a few minutes from the station along a dusty, busy road, stands this jaw—dropping and little—known architectural wonder. built in the late 19th century,
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the mahabat maqbara is an elaborate mausoleum, blending indian, islamic, gothic and european architecture. the intricate carvings took over a decade to complete, and the whole structure reflects the opulence and influences of the time. back in the day, under the british raj, there were hundreds of so—called princely states run by maharajahs and nawabs, powerful and wealthy men. there was one such character here, a nawab who made a decision that still has ramifications for relations with india and pakistan even today. these nawabs led lavish lifestyles, in stark contrast to ordinary indians. the nawab ofjunagadh,
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mahabat khan iii, was no different. archive: this states celebrates the marriage of the eldest son of the nawab with all the pomp and splendour of a princely wedding. harish desai was ten in 1946, and recalls the splendour of the ceremony. archive: escorted by the royal guard, the bridegroom drives in state through the streets. before him and the procession goes a costly profusion of wedding gifts. all the princes were there, attired in a princely pattern with turbans of a particular type on their head. dance girls used to be brought there, musicians and all that. that lasted for several days. and he recalls getting his first taste of this other world. for the first time, i saw bread, butter, sandwich. that was not known to us here. my father said "you eat this.
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this is bread and this is butter". and i liked it. there were small pastries. i still remember that made in england, london, there were huntley & palmers biscuits. the important thing is the formal photograph of his highness, mahabat khan iii. the nawab‘s own most legendary indulgence was his love of animals. his main hobby was for dogs. he was mad after dogs. i think almost all varieties and breeds of dogs from all over the world were here. he used to arrange marriages for dogs, and celebrated with parties and honeymoon. honeymoon! he used to do it. but with the advent of independence, the power and influence of india's
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royal rulers was coming to an end. come partition, the muslim nawab wanted to makejunagadh part of the newly created islamic pakistan... even though the town is more than 80% hindu and hundreds of kilometres from the border. infuriated, the new indian government rallied its troops. the news started coming that the army is coming with huge tanks and trucks and jeeps and artillery and guns and everything are there. junagadh state was besieged on three sides also. an economic blockade was ordered, cutting off supplies of food and resources into the region. eventually, junagadh acceded to india and the nawab fled to pakistan.
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yet to this day, 70 years on, his great—grandson still lays claim to junagadh. and the episode lingers as a reminder of the last days of the raj in india. and 65 kilometres down the road in the gir sanctuary, the nawab‘s legacy as an animal lover extraordinaire continues with the most regal of creatures. now, lions may have iconic status here. they're a royal symbol and they're in hindu mythology, but at the beginning of the last century, they were threatened with extinction. i'm going somewhere now which is the only natural abode of the asiatic lion. the nawab preserved vast tracts of this forest to provide lions with a stable habitat, and banned hunting. the asiatic lions are smaller and
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paler than their african relatives. and these are their modern—day protectors, india's first female forest rangers, the so—called lion queens of gir. now they're part of a team that performs more animal rescues than any other wildlife park in the world. on average, the unarmed rangers cover 25 kilometres a day and have to tackle venomous snakes, leopards and poachers as well as lions. if they did get agitated, how would you be able to tell from the animal? how would you know if you're safe or not, being this close to the animal? and it did get dangerous
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for her early on in her career here. applications from women for these posts have rocketed, and the rangers are role models and trailblazers in the region today.
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0oh, look at that mouth. the good news is that from once being in danger of extinction, numbers have climbed to over 500. the next, much more welcome, problem is if the sanctuary is big enough for their growing population. so, the first part of my travels across india comes to a close. but next week, i head to the north—east of the country. i'm on the banks of the mighty river brahmaputra, and about to go to a very spiritual place. and with the amount of people crammed on here as well, it's going to be an experience. a region that prides itself on tradition and creativity, and a passionate desire to protect this unique part of the world forfuture generations. well, tuesday's looking pretty good
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across most of the uk. the rest of the week, however, overall is still looking rather changeable. and actually, as we head into the weekend, it looks pretty blustery as well. this is a gloomy picture from yesterday in aberystwith. tuesday is going to be a lot sunnier across this part of the world. now, this is the satellite picture, from the last 12 hours or so. we had some rain sweeping across many western and northern areas. really quite heavy rain in some areas, and towards the early hours of tuesday morning, there still could be some heavier rain around across the far, far north—east of the country, and possibly the far south—east as well, and maybe even a crack of thunder. and the start to the day
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is a relatively mild one. 14,16 degrees, even up to 17 during the rush hour across the south. and really, it is starting pretty nice nad bright across most areas. there are a few showers around, here and there, but on balance, fine start from the south—east, the midlands, wales. a couple of showers there, around the lake district, maybe a few dotted around in northern ireland and western scotland, but on the whole, a nice start to the day. and here is that overnight rain moving away towards the north—east, off the edge of the screen — good riddance. now, as far as tuesday morning, and the second half of the morning and the afternoon is concerned, showers are actually going to be brewing inland. so it is not a completely dry day. take a brolly if you are out for any lengthy period of time. sunny spells, plenty of them, yes, and feeling quite warm, but there will be showers breaking out. how are we doing compared to the rest of europe? well, london will be warming up to 2a degrees. we're on a par with paris, but some storms around here, similar to warsaw and moscow. but hotting up across spain and portugal, and in italy and rome, there, temperatures up
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to around 35 degrees celsius. anyway, back home, tuesday into wednesday, there will be a ridge of high pressure. high pressure usually means fine weather. so for many parts of england, i think, and eastern scotland, wednesday morning and afternoon is looking fine. but you can't miss this. this is the next low pressure, next weather front, moving in during wednesday morning and afternoon. so the weather will go downhill in belfast, in glasgow, around the irish sea, liverpool, western wales, and down into cornwall. but london is looking fine. temperatures could even be a little bit higher than 23 degrees celsius. but that rain will move through during the course of wednesday into thursday, and then it is a fresher day, i think, for most of us on thursday. slightly brisker winds, with some showers. still temperatures getting up to around 2a degrees. i say fresher because the winds will pick up. and then by friday, really quite blustery, with sunshine and showers. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: devastation in sierra leone. hundreds are feared dead
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as an entire hillside collapses in heavy rain. two days after the white supremacist attack in virginia, president trump finally condemns racism. north korea announces its leader has been studying plans around a military strike around guam. taylor swift wins a court case against a former radio dj. thejury finds he did grope her.
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