National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for Asia

Kumbh Mela 2013: Lost and Found

There is a stubborn rumour here at the Kumbh Mela that some people come to abandon elderly female relatives and children in the crowd. There are two lost and found camps on site, one of which is run by 86-year-old Raja Ram Tiwari, who took the initiative after seeing an old woman weeping uncontrollably at…

Kumbh Mela 2013: Holy Men

Naga Baba Jai Giri Ji has long, long hair. He hasn’t cut it for 15 years, and when he dances in the processions that the holy men lead to the sangam on bathing days, he loops it over his arms so that it doesn’t trip him up. Lakshman Giri is also famous for his headgear,…

Kumbh Mela 2013: Bathing in the Ganges

If you climb up to high ground above the river plain, you begin to get a sense of the scale of the Kumbh Mela, especially at night. It stretches off in all directions. The sky above it is as light as the sky over a large metropolis, only there are no highrises here—nothing much higher than a lamp-post, in fact. The noise from hundreds of loudspeakers is incessant and very loud—like a human rainforest, technically enhanced.

Kumbh Mela 2013: World’s Largest ‘City’ Rises Alongside Ganges

The stars are aligned. The first aiders are on standby. The latrines are dug. And the city of Allahabad is waiting to see how many tens of millions of people will descend on it between now and March 10. One thing is certain: the Kumbh Mela, a giant gathering of Hindu pilgrims that takes place every 12 years in four cities in northern India, and that is celebrated this year in Allahabad, is unique.

Reconciling with Rare Earths in Malaysia

Guest article by Bernadetta Devi “Rare Earths” are a group of 17 elements that are currently used in a wide array of modern technologies, ranging from hard disk drives to lamp phosphors to hybrid car batteries. At present 90% of these minerals are mined in China due to a range of economic and environmental factors.…

African Pangolins in Chinese Soup Bowls

Reports from the wildlife trade monitoring organization Traffic, African media outlets, and scholarly researchers point to well-developed trade in pangolins from African source countries to China.

Protecting Russia’s Last Siberian Tigers

Earlier this year Rolex announced the five winners of the 2012 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, who are being honored in New Delhi, India, on November 27. This profile looks at the work of 2012 Laureate Sergei Bereznuk, director of the Phoenix Fund, a small environmental NGO in Russia. Bereznuk and his team of six people are carrying out an impressive range of activities to preserve the endangered Siberian tiger over a territory of 64,000 square miles (166,000 square kilometers).

Finding the Last Cheetahs of Iran

This week, National Geographic magazine published extraordinary new images of wild Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. That National Geographic was able to photograph these rarest of cheetahs is testament to 11 years of conservation work by the Iranian Department of Environment. As the only country on Earth that has managed to keep this remarkable cat alive, Iran deserves to be congratulated. (Photo by Frans Lanting, from the November 2012 issue of National Geographic Magazine.)

Cartographic Diligence

One of the greatest advantages of living in the digital age is that geopolitical events, regardless of what remote corner of the planet they occur, are posted on the web within minutes if not hours after they happen. Sometimes pivotal events occur in little-known places (to most Americans) such as Abbottabad, Pakistan—the site of the…

Can National Happiness Survive on an Organic Diet?

  The small kingdom of Bhutan is known for establishing the “gross national happiness” tool, a “multidimensional measurement” that looks at its citizens’ quality of life and well-being. Lately, it has been making waves for its government’s ambition to become the first 100% organic country in the world. Its only competition? The Pacific Island of…

Ivory Investigation Sparks Coverage and Inquiries in the Philippines

National Geographic’s undercover investigation into how the global religious market for ivory is a driving force in the slaughter of thousands of African elephants has prompted extensive media coverage — and calls for an official inquiry —  in the Philippines. Bryan Christy reported in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic that he traveled to the…

Turkey Celebrates World Vulture Day by Satellite-tracking Its First Egyptian Vultures

The migration of globally endangered Egyptian vultures is under high-tech surveillance Eastern Turkey environmental organization KuzeyDoga celebrated September 1 International Vulture Awareness Day at Turkey’s first vulture restaurant in Igdir with another first for Turkey’s vultures.  first vulture restaurantOn August 17,  we started satellite-tracking globally endangered Egyptian vultures for the first time in Turkey, in collaboration with Turkey’s Ministry of Forestry…

Tribes from the Air

  We live in a beautiful world. For generations, tribal peoples have been the guardians of their diverse habitats – tundra, sea-ice, mountains, deserts, oceans and prairies; for most, land and life are inextricably linked.  Earth is the bedrock of their lives, the provider of food and shelter, the sacred burial ground of their ancestors and…

REDD: The New Beast in the Forest Brings Hope and Threats to Indigenous Peoples

“REDD is the new beast in the forest,” said Patrick Anderson of the Forest Peoples Programme in Indonesia here at Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous peoples workshop in Cairns, Australia. Deforestation gobbles up an area the size of Greece (13 million hectares) every year. As if that loss wasn’t bad enough, it…

Cherry Tree Planting in March 1912 Shaped Public Face of Washington, D.C.

The cherry trees are blooming in Washington. Tuesday, March 27, 2012, marks 100 years since First Lady Helen Taft and the Japanese ambassador’s wife, Viscountess Iwa Chinda, planted the first two trees. No photographs of the event exist, and newspaper accounts were sketchy. But historical records offer a picture of what happened that day and how it came about.