Instagram takeover #3: Chelsea Santos


The world is passing through a strange situation brought upon by the fear of the Coronavirus 19 (Covid 19). Most of us are unaware of what it actually means but it has generated a high level of crazy speculation, stress resulting into a rise in depression. There is a global ‘lockdown’ – people are not allowed to even go out of their homes in some countries like India. Due to these reasons, VarnikaDesigns could not continue with the social media takeover in March. But in April, Chelsea reminded that she could share her stories despite being in lockdown and, with her, we had a thrilling journey of erstwhile Mewar.

Here is part of the the Mewar tour with Chelsea Santos, Astt Curator, City Palace Museum, Udaipur 🙂 enjoyyyy…

“It was just a trip we made a year prior to me being asked if I’d like to work there. I’ve always been so intrigued about Rajasthan, had a totally different picture in my mind; sandy deserts, flowing curtains, luxury beds, deserts or camps out there… My brother had been there, and I had missed the opportunity twice when college decided to take the kids out. Our dept. My college would always make trips to several heritage sites and cities, so I have seen more than I can remember. When I said let’s go to Udaipur for that family trip, I said it merely for the food..immense love for food rather set my connection with Udaipur and Mewar”

Chelsea shared her perspective as a tourist, “because these are all the places I visited with complete detachment, little to no understanding of the place or culture, and as a result the way I would tell a story with those memories will be different…” She took us around Udaipur, Kumbalgarh and Chittorgarh.

We were first introduced to Kumbhalgarh – there were series of quizzes, queries and teasers that attracted people to interact more with heritage and this architectural marvel than just an awe inspiring monument. After all, the fort is supposed to be second to the Great Wall of China in terms of its built structural dimensions.

Then, Chelsea took us to Chittorgarh. She writes,

“The crux of my takeover was to showcase perspectives; of how they differ when one visits a site with absolutely no knowledge of the place, its culture, or its history, as merely an enthusiastic tourist, as opposed to when someone goes to a site well prepared, with a certain background and a knowledge of the nitty gritties…

…This dual perspective was experienced by me, and captured through the medium of photographs. Both of them have their own joys and perks.”

“Over the week long takeover at VarnikaDesigns, I showcased this journey, of my association with the land of Mewar. I went over aspects of geography, history, architecture, religion and culture as I took the viewers through few of the historically important places that I have had the opportunity of visiting; from Kumbalgarh, Chittorgarh, to Udaipur which was the last of the capitals of Mewar; the city of lakes, home to several palaces, the most prominent being The City Palace of Udaipur, the royal residence.”

My knowledge of Mewar comes from that very place; The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, being the place where I work. While showcasing both the perspectives, I also tried to highlight factors, locations, points of interests for potential tourists who look forward to seeing the beauty of these places.

Sadly, we bid adieu to Chelsea and her romantic ‘Mewar’. Feeling unvanquishable that we have fought some of these battles, built those impregnable forts and towers, carved those exquisite temples, palaces and homes, and roamed those winding lanes. Thank you Chelsea 🙂 take care and be safe 🙂

And, that was a lovely respite from the lockdown. There are videos on the VarnikaDesigns Instagram ‘Highlight’ with the name Chelsea.

All photos/videos/captions are by Chelsea Santos.



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