The Kumbh Travelogue | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

The Kumbh Travelogue


My Musings

Recently, the Ardh Kumbh of 2019 was all the rage. It was so well managed that people had only great things to say about it. Many of my family members themselves partook in the festivities and they were all praises about how organized everything was.

So, when a book about the Kumbh 2019 came my way for review, it was difficult not to be excited about it.

I started reading The Kumbh Travelogue with a kind of enthusiasm that only a travel-related book can inspire in me. In this review, I tell you all about the book and about what I think of it.

What to expect?

The Kumbh Travelogue is basically a book that talks about the author’s travels to the holy celebrations of the Ardh Kumbh which took place in the February and March months of 2019.

The book takes us to the holy city of Prayagraj and lets us experience its distinct flavour and vibe through the author’s own experiences. It also documents the author’s encounters with the holy men of the country.

In addition to telling us a lot about the festivities, the cuisine, some social initiatives, the book also carries a distinct spiritual undertone which in turn, makes it a unique read.

How good is the writing style?

The author writes in a simple language that is easy to understand but at certain points, the language gets a little too personal or slang-ish, I would say.

It definitely gives a personal touch to the experiences that are being shared but it does come across as a bit too casual.

What I liked?

I particularly like the way the author, Anuj Tikku, along with a couple of his associates carry out the social initiative called Ek Ka Dum.

Bringing together a bunch of youth volunteers they go on a massive collection drive which requires them collecting Re 1 from the public.

This money was then to go towards the cleaning of the Ghats and would be presented to the DM of the city towards the same. He also partnered with the local station of 92.7 Big FM to spread awareness about the campaign.

The beauty of this campaign lies in its simplicity and I loved reading about it.

What I did not like?

When one reads a travelogue, a reader wants to get the entire picture and preferably in a particular sequence of events.

What I find missing in The Kumbh Travelogue is that chronology of events.

The chapters are placed randomly with the reader having to figure out what comes first and what goes in the end.

The tale of a missing introduction

Another issue I have with the book is the absence of an author’s note or introduction.

It’s very important for a reader to understand the objectives that the book plans to achieve.

In nonfiction, it is essential for the author to brief the reader about the book and in turn pave the way for a smooth read. This is something noticeably missing in the book.

Let’s talk about the editing

When it comes to editing, the book leaves a lot to be desired. The editing is far off the mark and I would have loved it if there was more effort put into it.

A picture speaks a thousand words

The various pictures that are included in the book complement the author’s personal experiences.

The quality of the pictures varies – some are shot in very good quality, some are rather dimly lit but overall, they do manage to give us a vibrant picture of the Kumbh.

The single qualm I have when it comes to pictures is that some of them are very often repeated. I would keep seeing the same pictures in multiple chapters.

Is the book entertaining?

In the end, the book proves to be a decent (but fractional) account of the Kumbh 2019. Perhaps, if it was structured and edited well, it would have turned out to be a much better read.

Pick the book

  • If you are looking for a short and crisp travelogue about the Ardh Kumbh of 2019.
  • If you enjoy books that are unconventional and quick to read.
  • If you don’t mind poorly edited books.

Skip the book

  • If you are looking for a truly engaging read.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of The Kumbh Travelogue using the link below.


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