Monday, December 11, 2006

The Last (but not least) Leg - India

Locals, Jodhpur
from the fort walls
The blue city, Jodhpur
The market and fort of Jodhpur
The Golden City of Jaisalmer
Walking to somewhere...
Village woman collecting water
Camel back view
The great Thar Desert
Camels resting
Giving our behinds a rest in the desert
The fort in Jaisalmer
The start of the dishwashing chain
Early morning worshippers at the Golden Temple
Feeding of 500 people in under 15 minutes
The Pakistani-Indian border closing ceremony
The head priest of the Golden Temple
Sunrise
The Golden Temple in Amritsar
Me being force fed by Indians on the train
Spice transporter, Delhi
A salt merchant at the spice market in Delhi
Young Muslims at a mosque in Delhi
Maybe he should have shared his lunch!
Delhi at its' best
Sunrise behind the Taj Mahal, Agra
An Indian bus station
Boy cooling off, Old Kajaraho Village
The erotic temples of Kajuraho
Art lessons
Morning prayers and wash
Prayer candles floating on the river
Boating construction
The holy buffalo's getting a scrub
Clothes washing
Locals washing in the Ganges River
The Ghats of Varansi
A late night stop near the Nepali border

Leaving Nepal on an seemingly endless 26 hour bus journey we reached Varanasi. Life revolves around the Ganges River which supports life in every way! Bodies are burnt by the hundred a day after being dipped in the holy water of the river. Those that have died of certain illnesses or while pregnant are just weighted and dropped into the 40 m depth of the water. Watching bodies disintegrate in the fire while the family (males only) look on and the ground ashes beside are first sifted for valuables before a new fire is prepared for the next body makes this a most unusual place. Watching is hard work!
Next to all this people are washing cloths and bathing just next to the outlet of the city sewage system and the inlet to the town water supply! It is a sight that is hard to believe!
Heading South to the erotic temples in Kajuraho one wonders what these people were up to when they carved these most bizarre temples out of stone!
Next stop, the Taj Mahal...really one of the wonders of the world!
On to the Golden Temple and the centre of the Sikh religion near the Pakistani border in Amritsar. This place is such a contrast to Agra (where the Taj Mahal is located), everyone is friendly and helpful without expecting or even asking for money! The accommodation puts up Indians and foreigners alike for free as well as providing good free food to 30,000 people per days! That is a lot of chapatis! At the Pakistani border, a strange tradition entertains the crowds. The flag lowering ceremony is carried out in a comical manor on both sides with a screaming and cheering crowd of 10,000 looking on. It is a shame that this camaraderie is not shown a few hundred kilometers to the north in Kashmir.
It was time to move into the great Thar desert and to mount a trusty camel to visit the remote villages and temples that still support life. The golden city of Jaiselmer rises from the sands with the huge fort still supporting 2000 people. Heading back towards Delhi I stopped at the beautiful blue city of Jodhpur where the unique colour of the buildings was once a sign of caste but now is widely used as an insect repellent.
As usual time has flown past, India is a huge country with so many extremes! The surface has only been skratched, I will be back...but for now I will return to New Zealand to contemplate my next move and enjoy my own beautiful country! Until the next adventure...

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1 Comments:

At 8:18 pm, Blogger Bartek Rys said...

Hi Ben!

This is Bartek from Lund (the Polish guy, at the moment in Warsaw). Great photos! I really like your blog, your journey is amazing, I have to go to India one day. This country is incredible...

Bad news. Your Swedish bike was stolen after 4 days of using it by Thomas. I mean not the whole bike, the front wheel was still there! It was really nice bike, I cycled to the coast one day and I enjoyed it.

I have also my own blog about Sweden, unfortunatley it's in Polish. You can always look at some pictures. The address is www.bartolomeos.blox.pl
I am aware that my adventures in Sweden are really dull compared to yours. It's mainly studying and partying, sometimes travelling to Copenhagen. In spring/summer I want to go around Scandinavia by car. I hope I will realize my ambitious plan.

My email is: rychoo@interia.pl
Feel free to mail me! Unfortunatley I lost your email.

Have fun in NZ!

Bartek

 

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