What started as a hobby with only a few readers has progressed into a full time effort to bring you the best (and sometimes the worst) in what it takes to travel India. September 2011 marks the two year anniversary of Full Stop India, and now more than 20,000 travelers visit the site each month.
To celebrate this milestone, let’s look back at 10 of the travel articles which shaped Full Stop India in the past year.
Most Popular Post: National Emblem of India: The Four Lions of Sarnath
This post could also double as the most surprisingly successful. My intentions were to educate myself and Full Stop readers about the national insignia of India. Initially this post drew no attention, flying under the radar for months. Then slowly the reader’s interest in India’s national emblem pushed this post into the top 25, then top 10, and ultimately to the #1 spot where it consistently tops the Trending Today... list. Sarnath will be getting a well deserved visit during the next round of travel in 2011.
Post Which Never Took Off: The 6 Month (Wanderer, Vagabond, Hippie) Tourist Part 1
In my effort to amuse the readers, this article was posted as the first (and until recently) the only Op Ed piece on the site. It wreaks of cynicism while smacking of borderline bitterness. Maybe I’m jealous of how effortlessly the hippie tourist glides through India. Or maybe I’m just saying what others are thinking yet too kind to voice the words. Either way, this article was D.O.A.
Most Helpful Post: Language of India: The Major Languages Spoken in India
More than 2000 people have stumbled upon this article since being published in February, 2011. Compiling a list of all the languages spoken within India would be not only an exhaustive task, it would be nearly impossible. This list highlights the major languages tourists might encounter based on the regions of India traveled.
Most Controversial Post: 10 Annoying Things About India and Indians
No more than 5 minutes after posting this article I was barraged with angry emails from readers who felt I was disparaging India. And to them I said, well duh, the goal of any site is to get readers; and nothing fuels traffic like controversy. As one round of furor cooled, another came right behind. Heavy on tongue-in-cheek with a mix of seriousness on issues otherwise unspoken, this article topped the most read for weeks.
Most Surprising Post: Best iPhone Apps for India Travel – Top 10 Free Apps
iPhones are popular. Really, really popular. So much so it blew my mind when this article, and the subsequent Best iPhone Apps for India Travel – Top 10 Paid Apps went straight to top of the charts after posting. I love my iphone, and I really love travelers who appreciated these suggestions.
Most Rewarding Post: Traditional Indian Fabric Embroidery for Salwars & Sarees
Days of research went toward compiling this list of the most common forms of traditional Indian embroidery. With automated textile mills continuing to dominate around the world I thought it only proper to devote a space on the site, however small it was, to the fascinating artwork of Indian embroidery. Tailors cramped in small, dimly lit stalls still populate the villages of India where travelers can appreciate the skilled effort required to create masterful pieces. Readers also found this interesting, sending this article to the top of the charts from time to time.
Most Fun to Write: The Masala Dabba, a traditional Indian spice box still used for modern cooking
I love to cook. I love Indian food. Writing about the masala dabba of India was one of the easiest articles ever written for Full Stop India. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough room in my baggage to bring home the box I really wanted. So, the one style available at the nearest Indian market in Chicago was second pick. It works like a charm holding spices which conjure up images of meals savored around India.
Most Eager to Write Post: SKIP: Shahi Palace, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Don’t call it revenge. I considered all the ways in which to warn fellow travelers of the shady business dealings at Shahi Palace. In the end, a much tempered article was posted in the hopes of sending fresh eyed tourists to another property which might appreciate their business ever so slightly more. Off the plane, out of the car and straight to the laptop, this post was itching to be written.
Most “Lost in Translation” Post: Kunzum Pass, A Side of India Few Travelers Know Exists
Describing the most amazing sights ever viewed in your life is not an easy feat. Even with pictures, I fell far short of my intention to recap a journey across one of the highest motorable passes of India. This is truly a must-see destination.
Most Honest Post: Kesroli Hill Fort Hotel Not For Me, Maybe Not For You
Butterfly spasms fluttered in my stomach as soon as this articles was posted. I believed in every word written as unflattering as it was. The reaction garnered was a bit shocking, and proves that when you hit a nerve, word travels fast. It only took a week before management contacted me regarding allegations expressed within the article. Allegations which were viewed as “surprising”, but not denied.
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