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Updated: September 23, 2013 16:08 IST

Into worlds unknown

MADHUMITHA SRINIVASAN
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In fiction too travellers abound. We have Phileas Fogg who travelled the world in 80 days and Tintin who travels to investigate, and of course there are those like Gulliver who journeyed to make-believe lands.

While there are people who have travelled the world and experienced the wonders and adventure that a place has to offer, there are some who become famous for just imagining them. In fact, the characters over shadow the creators in terms of fame achieved and also earn an enviable privilege of being remembered by generations of people. We’re talking about your favourite fictional characters from books and movies, who have seen and experienced the world in their own memorable way.

Affable adventurer

Lemuel Gulliver is the protagonist of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. He encounters unique and bizarre societies, people and has many an adventure. The book’s original title was: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships.

His first and the most famous voyage is into Lilliput where he meets a race of tiny people and contrastingly in his second voyage to Brobdingnag, he is the tiny one amid a race of really tall people, as tall as 72 feet! The account of his third and fourth voyages include Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, Japan and lastly, the Country of the Houyhnhnms where horses rule and humans occupy the lowest rung of society.

The challenger

Phileas Fogg is the main character of a book that has inspired many cinematic adaptations and games. French writer Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, has the ability to induce as much interest now as it did when it was published in 1873. That is solely because of Phileas Fogg’s attempt to circumnavigate the world in just 80 days as a bet, accompanied by his French valet Passepartout. It was a challenge indeed because, it is set in a time when long-distance transportation meant only trains or ships. His journey takes Fogg from London to Egypt, then Bombay and Calcutta, Hong Kong, Yokohama (Japan), San Francisco (U.S.), New York City (U.S.) and finally back to London. And staying true to the genre of fiction, the duo has loads of adventure along the way.

Arabian hero

Sindbad the Sailor is a fictional seaman, whose expeditions date back to around eighth century. Sailing the seas between Africa and Asia, Sindbad encounters monsters, magical creatures, strange phenomenon and mysterious islands during his seven voyages. The voyages are recounted by Sindbad the Sailor to Sindbad the Porter, who pauses outside the former’s house to take a break from his tiresome work. This ancient hero’s adventures have given seed to many movies, cartoons, comics, TV series and even games.

World’s favourite reporter

Adventure finds Tintin, the young reporter, who along with his pet dog Snowy, travel the world to investigate stories. Created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, Tintin is the protagonist of The Adventures of Tintin, the comic series, which has 24 titles published in over 70 languages. From investigating a meteorite in the Arctic Ocean and mysterious boxes of cigars in a pharaoh’s tomb in Egypt to looking for a lost friend in the Himalayas and having an encounter with the Incas in Peru, and even exploring the moon, this journalist has done it all!

Along the river

Having made a debut in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn gets a whole book for himself in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, published in 1884. Finn is not a traveller per se, but is unwittingly forced to do so to escape unfavourable situations like being confined to his house by an abusive, alcoholic father, to helping a new-found friend escape slavery and to witnessing a murder. The vagabond’s adventures take him along the Mississippi river along with his friend Jim on a raft. In the end the misadventures give way to a happy ending with both Finn and Jim reaching a safe place where they are free.

Treasure hunter

A cinematic icon, Indiana Jones, is the hero of director George Lucas’ Indiana Jones movie franchise. This professor of archaeology set out on assignments to uncover historical sites and uncover hidden artefacts. Jones helps the government locate the Ark of the Covenant in Egypt, fights an evil cult leader in India who plans to take over the world using the power of the holy Sankara Stones, goes on a quest across Europe to find the Holy Grail, and finally racing through Peru and Brazil in search of the Crystal Skull.

The franchise is one of the most successful in Hollywood, with the character of Indiana Jones still remembered for his love for adventure and a penchant for danger.

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