I have always loved to travel and travelling alone never bothered me. I had been to Australia, I had seen most of Europe, and because I wanted to my next trip to be somewhere new, I decided that I would travel to India. A few of my friends cautioned me that I might not want to travel alone and that I should perhaps travel as part of a tour group, or go with companions. At the age of 37, I was no stranger to travelling alone and I loved immersing myself into new cultures and meeting new people. I was a savvy traveler and had my mind made up; I was going to visit India.
This is a story of my friend Rishabh Oberoi who went to the Kumb Mela this year. This is the part 1 of his visit to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad.
Part 1: The World Largest Religious Gathering of People on the Bed of Sangam
I believe Indian culture is the most colorful and diverse culture on the planet. From the world-famous food to the way people look and dresses; our languages, music, art, dance, architecture and even way to serve food is different every 100 kilometres throughout the country. One place where you can really see the diversity and complexity of this culture is the Kumbha Mela.
My friend Natalia from Brazil was recently in India where she happened to visit the Taj Mahal along with other places in India. She sent me her account of her visit along with some of her photos that she took on her visit. This is the personal account of her visit to the glorious Taj Mahal. I hope you will like it and I hope her story will convince you to visit this amazing Indian monument of love.
You will remember that my friend Manuela arrived in Delhi from Colombia. Now she leaves Delhi to live in Chandigarh the capital of Punjab! She describes her leaving of Delhi and experience of Chandigarh in her own words. An interesting account.
Proving why Chandigarh IS the City Beautiful
Even thought India is becoming a really popular destination for people from all over the world, not a lot of travelers know about Chandigarh. Of course you’ve all heard about chaotic Delhi; Mumbai and Bollywood; the Holy city of Varanasi; Jaipur, the pink city; and all those ‘European’ paradises spread over the huge country like Shimla -also known as ‘the little Switzerland’- Pondicherry -‘the little France’- Kasol -the unnamed Israeli territory- and Goa, the party destination, where you can see the entire world hanging out together, especially on its famous Christmas and New Year’s parties… Would I make it to Goa on this December 31st? …
My friend Manuela writes about her experiences in India. She talks about coming to India and settling in Chandigarh. Read to find out more about her Indian fairytale.
My own Indian Fairytale by Manuela Osorio Pineda
From the very first moment I placed my feet in Indian lands, I had that strange but fascinating feeling of being walking in two different countries at the same time; not between a ‘rich’ and a ‘poor’ one – although the economic gap is so huge you can almost touch it- not between a ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’ country – although gender equality is still a utopia as in most regions of the world- and not either between a religious divided country, although the conflicts involving the beliefs differences can still be felt in some parts of the vast subcontinent.
By Marie McCarthy
This is another installment from my e-book, Travels in India, the tales of my first trip to India in 2011. In this segment, I’m in Jodphur, taking a day trip to buy a dhurry and search for the tradititional Bishnoi villages.
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I had seen photos of the Bishnoi traditional villages near Salawas and wanted to have a look. Prem had never been there and got directions from the hotel. As it turned out, it would have been better to have gone on one of the two or four-hour Bishnoi village jeep tours that the hotel could have arranged. I didn’t see anything like what I’d seen on the internet, but I had an interesting day all the same.
I wanted to visit Salawas because I’d read on the internet that Salawas is known for weaving dhurries. I wanted to see them being made and of course to buy one or two. Salawas was close to the Bishnoi villages and only about 25 kilometers from Jodhpur.
There were no road signs for either the Bishnoi villages or Salawas, but it was easy to tell when we were drawing close. Signs popped up offering dhurries for sale. The first one I saw had three attractive dhurries hanging outside, and I asked Prem to stop. As we were getting out of the car, the owner, who had been sitting across the street, dashed over to greet us. He was smallish and thin with a unibrow and a big smile.
by Marie McCarthy
The main attraction at Jhunjhunu is the beautiful Rani Sati Temple. The center of the main building is five stories with three-storied wings on each sides, all colonnaded. The building is painted pale green. The temple is behind another gateway within the complex and looks like a mansion. Typical of so many places in India, there was a garbage dump next to the parking area, just across the road from the temple, where bony holy cows and skinny dogs nosed through the refuse, looking for something edible.
In March of 2011, I made my first trip to India. I was not a backpacking, college aged woman. Rather, I was in my last decade of work before retirement. Adventure is not just for the young. Sometimes you’re better able to appreciate things when you have a few more years of life experience under your belt.
As I nearly always travel alone, I had engaged the services of an Indian based travel agency, which had an itinerary of Rajasthan which covered all the places I wanted to visit plus a few I hadn’t heard of. I was traveling in a private car with a driver, which I thought would be prudent for my first visit. I could stop or change the itinerary as I wished, and my driver would not only keep me out of trouble, but he would be my personal ambassador. I could ask him anything and everything I wanted to know about life in India, the people and the culture.
Having been invited by Shalu to share some of my travel stories here on ShaluSharma.com, here is the first one, an excerpt from my recently published book.
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