Actor Shenaz Treasury raises awareness about responsible travelling
Seven states, 17 spots, covered in 12 days — that’s what television host and actor Shenaz Treasury has been doing since she packed her bags and moved back to India from New York. Shenaz was on this road trip during the last two weeks of September to commemorate World Tourism Day. The actor, who turned a travel blogger last year, has been quite actively exploring and discovering new places across the globe.
Her road trip across India was quite different from her regular expeditions. Shenaz was promoting sustainable tourism and raising awareness about being a responsible tourist. Aptly titled, #GhoomoResponsibly, the trip has taken Shenaz to the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra and Assam. “I have been blogging about travel for a year now, making videos and posting pictures of the places I visit. I was approached by Ola for the #GhoomoResponsibly campaign because they liked my blog. What appealed to me was the fact that I would be travelling around India, talking to tourists about being responsible, honouring our heritage, protecting our planet, preserving the wildlife and going litter-free,” she tells us about the campaign. Though initiated by Ola, the actor was representing the tourism departments of these seven states as an ambassador for the campaign.
The trip was flagged off from Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka on September 16. Shenaz’s first stop was Hampi, the UNESCO World Heritage site. Though she has visited different historical ruins across the world, Hampi’s extraordinary architecture and sculptures have left a lasting impression on the actor’s mind and heart. “It was my first time in Hampi and I wondered why on earth is it my first time here! Everything was so spectacular. The architecture was amazing, the sight of devotees praying and the elephants at the temple —everything looked like true story book India,” she enthuses, adding, “I really liked the Vitthala Temple, it was the chariot and the intricate work that caught my attention.”
While it may seem like Shehnaz had the luxury of time to spend hours at Hampi, she reveals it was less than a day’s trip, as she had to hit the road again. But whatever little time it was, it seemed like eternity for the actor. “Just walking around the ruins with the greenery in the background made it all surreal. I felt like I was back in time though there were so many mobile phones around,” she reminisces. Her next stop and perhaps the most memorable spot was Gandikota, in Andhra Pradesh. The tiny village in Kadapa district, Gandikota, is known for the gorge formed by river Pennar that cuts through the Erramala Hills. “Only after seeing the place I realised why this is called the Grand Canyon of India. It’s just stunning and is still untouched. I highly recommend it but I also request tourists to be responsible and not write on the stones, or dirty the place,” she says.
Despite the tight schedule, Shenaz managed to cover other important spots such as Sabarmati Ashram (Ahmedabad), Fort Kochi (Cochin), Karla Caves (Lonavala), Burra Sahib Bungalow (Jorhat) and others. At the end of the journey, all Shenaz wanted people to know was the things she practises as a responsible tourist. “We must honour the heritage of the place we are visiting. We need to treat animals with respect and preserve the wildlife. Respecting the host and their culture is really important, for instance, if we need to cover up in a temple, just do it. Lastly, going local, visiting nearby places is a lot more fun,” she signs off.