Award-winning adventure and small group trip operator Exodus Travels has selected four gifted explorers as the recipients of this year’s ‘Exodus Exploration Without Boundaries’ grants.
Designed to help fund projects that advance the global understanding of the social and natural world through cultural, scientific, and conservation fieldwork, and led by explorers who may have taken alternative routes to get the necessary skills to conduct their research, the grant was developed in partnership with The Explorers Club, whose mission it is to encourage exploration without limitations.
“We know the ability to explore and travel is a privilege, and is something that is not accessible to everyone,” says Robin Brooks Marketing Director at Exodus Travels and Explorers Club Member. “These grants were made on the belief that explorers are extraordinary individuals who set themselves apart in the pursuit of knowledge and that these individuals can come from all backgrounds and walks of life – these four champions exude just that.”
The Exodus Exploration Without Boundaries 2022 Recipients:
Krithika Varagur & Tyler Richard
India: If These Walls Could Talk: Documenting the Chola Dynasty’s Inscriptional Past
Krithika is an award-winning American journalist, author, and essayist. Tyler is a scholar of Tamil and Sanskrit literature at Harvard University and the University of Texas at Austin. Their project traverses the disciplines of archaeology, history, and epigraphy (the study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions).
They plan to travel to India, where they have several on-the-ground research partners, to survey the Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple complex. There they will photograph, transcribe, and translate the copious medieval Tamil inscriptions from the Chola Dynasty, which ruled much of South India 1,000 years ago. Upon returning home, they plan to create an open-access database of temple inscriptions translated into both English and Modern Tamil.
Krithika and Tyler’s project aims to lay the groundwork for a larger-scale effort to preserve, digitize, and translate the invaluable Chola history contained in over 1,000 stone temples scattered across the Tamil-speaking world, for the benefit of both scholars and the general public.
A Documentation & Conservation Project on the Lives of Nomadic Himalayan Horse Traders
Bhavita is a storyteller, explorer, ecofeminist, and horse conservationist, with over a decade of experience around the pastoral communities of the trans-Himalayan region in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Explorer’s Club, and The New Yorker.
She recently partnered with the National Geographic Society on a 5,000-kilometer foot traverse across northern India, walking back toward the world’s most isolated nomadic communities – off the edge of Mt. Kailash – home to some of the most sacred ranges of the Himalayas.
Now based out of Kathmandu, Bhavita is working to build a grassroots project to study the lives of yak nomads, horse herders, and their ponies, bringing awareness to their way of life trekking across the remote highlands of the Himalayas. The grant from Exodus will allow her to continue her research and will help fund the creation of a multimedia and conservation project designed to bring more attention and support to the lives of these horse traders on the highest passes on earth.
Peru: High Altitude Archaeology Canals of Rurec
Felipe has been one of Ecuador’s most motivated mountain climbers since 2003, exploring and finding new climbing routes such as the columns of Tangánand the Towers of Simiatug.
His project, Canals of Rurec, combines archaeology and advanced mountain sports to identify, count, map, and understand the purpose of the ruins found in Peru's Valley of Rurec. These ruins have been spotted by climbers in the area, however proper field research has not yet been conducted.
Felipe will produce a short film including content from his exploration of the area in 2018 through his research in 2022 using tools such as aerial technology, satellite imagery, and modern climbing techniques. Felipe aims to investigate these structures to better understand their purpose and share his findings.
Germany: Sky Indicators x Climate: A Noctilucent Cloud Observation Mobile App Toward Climate Monitoring
Yvette is an atmospheric and bioastronautics researcher, spacesuit technician, and human resiliency expert.
She has over 22 years of humanitarian, disaster response, and international development experience rebuilding communities in an active war, conflict, natural disasters, and epidemiological outbreaks.
Yvette plans to travel to Germany to collect high-quality images and videos of noctilucent clouds from one of the best locations in Europe. These clouds have been appearing more often and further south, due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane.
She will design a mobile, citizen-science application to document and track noctilucent clouds around the world. This project’s intention is to produce valuable findings on these clouds and the potential to monitor and predict climate changes in the future.
Stay up to date on these explorers and their expeditions here.
For more information on Exodus Travels and its 600+ trips to more than 100 countries, visit ExodusTravels.com.