For immediate release
October 25, 2005
Contact:
Chad Campbell, NPR:
ccampbell@npr.org | 202.513.2304

NPR/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S "RADIO EXPEDITIONS" VISITS HEAVEN ON EARTH - THE ANCIENT INDIAN CITY WHERE KRISHNA FOLLOWERS BELIEVED HE LIVED - IN THREE-PART SERIES AIRING ON "MORNING EDITION" OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 2

Alex Chadwick Explores Vrindavan, India, and Its Role on Hindus' Beliefs in the Afterlife

Washington, D.C. -- Is there really heaven on earth? For the latest NPR/National Geographic "Radio Expeditions" series, "Geography of Heaven," Alex Chadwick explores Vrindavan, India, an ancient town south of Delhi that is regarded by devotees of the Hindu god Krishna as the most sacred place on earth.

"Radio Expeditions: Geography of Heaven - Vrindavan" will air on Morning Edition October 31, November 1 and November 2.

Using state-of-the-art digital stereo audio equipment, "Radio Expeditions'" travels beyond the motorbikes and diesel engines of 21st century Vrindavan and ventures through the city's countless shrines celebrating Krishna and inside the temples built by maharajas to experience Krishna traditions and rituals during the Hindu New Year.

Enriching the three-part series will be an extensive Radio Expeditions section on NPR.org providing additional information, photos, soundscapes and transcripts. Chadwick also shares his Vrindavan experience in a feature in the November 2005 issue of National Geographic magazine.

"Vrindavan" kicks off a long-term "Geography of Heaven" series, airing over the coming year, that will explore the fundamental beliefs shared by billions of people in India, China, Africa, Pakistan and the United States. The series will explore what different cultures and faiths believe about the afterlife and how these beliefs drive their followers' daily existences. Among the features in production is an examination of sacred mountains, regarded as dwelling places of the divine, that will follow along on a ritual pilgrimage to Kawa Karpo mountain in eastern Tibet.

NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions partnership, honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, brings the farthest corners of the world home to NPR listeners. The alliance combines the best resources of the two organizations to focus on programming that explores environmental, cultural, discovery and adventure themes and brings to life innovative field research underway worldwide. The Radio Expeditions team works closely with National Geographic's Committee for Research and Exploration and the Expeditions Council, and it has developed unique contacts with field scientists and explorers around the world. In April, Radio Expeditions broke one of the most significant environmental stories of the year when it reported on the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to be extinct for 60 years.

Radio Expeditions began in June 1992 and has literally traveled around the world since then, providing monthly features for NPR's Morning Edition. It has visited such locations as the North Pole, the Sahara Desert, a Nez Perce Indian trail once followed by Lewis & Clark and a forest in northern Congo, where a team of researchers studied a mysterious ape.

In addition to his role as longtime correspondent for Radio Expeditions, Chadwick hosts the NPR midday news magazine Day to Day. Executive Producer for Radio Expeditions is Carolyn Jensen. "Radio Expeditions: Geography of Heaven - Vrindavan" was recorded by Flawn Williams and produced by Jensen.

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.