Monday, May 21, 2012

Dhanyavad, India (3 Weeks in 10 Pictures)

Dhanyavad means "Thank You" in Hindi.

I've been trying to figure out what to say about India as an introduction, and I really haven't been able to distill everything that I experienced in one post (Nor will I. You guys know me already). What I can say is that India is the most otherworldly place that I've ever been. So many aspects of India are right here in the 21st century, and yet there were moments where I felt like we could be living at any time within the last 30 - 40 years (minus the cell phones, of course). The stark contrast of my life in New York City and life in some of the parts of India I visited were like night and day (duh!), and I loved that about traveling there. I didn't want to be in someplace familiar.

I have been telling people that India is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, and I truly believe that. I found it by far the most challenging place that I've ever traveled. I knew that going in; and, to be quite honest, I wanted to be challenged by what I saw and experienced while there. Even at the most frustrating moments, I was always happy that I made the decision to go.  I already know that I want to go back and see even more of the country, especially the south.

In any given day in India, I would be left in a fit of giggles by one of my new "friends" I'd made through an interaction on the street, and at other moments I just wanted to slink away unseen (it was very hard for me to blend in in India [understatement of the year]...more on that another time). If anything, India confirmed yet again to me how the world is slowly becoming similar in how we live our every day lives but distinct customs, cultural viewpoints and lifestyles aren't going away any time soon.

If you can't tell by the paragraph above, many of my posts about india will be a bit more reflective. I'll write about all of the history, sights and good food (although the latter is going to be hard to do, I think because I ate so darn much and was sometimes too hungry to take pictures), but there will definitely be more about how my travels affected me personally.

I thought I'd leave you with some snippets of what I saw and did in my three weeks there. Get ready for a whole lotta India posts. :)

The B'Hai (aka Lotus) Temple in New Delhi

 A sambar deer in Ranthambore National Park 

Riding camels in Pushkar

My very large breakfast. I ate this in Delhi, but the food is actually more South Indian.

 This kind man let me take a picture of him while we made a stop for chai. I loved his chai spot, and they were very welcoming to us. I miss Masala chai already.

 On the way to the Happy Valley Tea Estate in Darjeeling. I drank some Darjeeling tea while writing this post. :) 

 The saris..oh, the saris (and pretty much any other traditional Indian women's clothing). So beautiful and so colorful. Indian women are never wrinkly (unlike me while I was there). 

 Indian sweets are SWEET. We had some kaju katli (milk, sugar and nut bar-like sweets) in Jaipur. Loved the edible silver (it's fabulous eat to silver food, isn't it?). 

Bundi Palace. I saw many forts and palaces while in Rajasthan. Lots of them.

Me in Darjeeling. Can you see the tips of the Kangchenjunga range of the Himalayas through all those clouds? It was one of the better days of visibility while I was there.  

As always, is there anything in particular that you're interested in learning about my experience in India? Just let me know in the comments section, and I'll be sure to include a post about it. 


Oneika the Traveller said...

Looking forward to more! Was it cold there?

Try Anything Once Terri said...

Darjeeling was really cool and got cold in the evenings because it was up in the mountains. Most of the time I needed a light jacket like the one I'm wearing in the last picture. A few moments I got away with just a long sleeved shirt. Apparently, it can be freezing cold there in the winters.

TheThreeLLLs said...

I'm loving the photos I'm seeing so far! Can't wait to hear about your experience. I would love it if you could talk about what made India challenging for you. Also, did you have any expectations of India and if so did they live up to it or not? India is another country on my list of places to go(goodness, it's a mile long) so I'm excited hear your story.

Esme said...

Your photos have caught India nicely-Wasn't Pushkar fun-I was there during a festival and it was unbelievable.

Ekua said...

I definitely agree that India is a huge challenge. Nothing can prepare you for it! I recognize the dosa... I just had one last Sunday and watched the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I recommend that movie if you haven't already seen it. Something I miss about India are those beautiful cups of chai wherever you want them!


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