I just returned from a two-week vacation with my husband; we backpacked up north beginning in Mumbai, through the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, and Uttarakhand. Here’s a map depicting the trails of our journey.
Over 2000 km traveled, five states, and 10+ cities later, I can only say that we have experienced just a tiny slice of this immense and diverse country.
Here’s a picture blog that summarizes our trip. Enjoy!
Our journey started with an overnight sleeper bus to Ahmedabad. It was one of the most comfortable bus sleeping experiences.
In Ahmedabad we visited one of Gandhi's former residences, now a museum and national monument. Here are two ladies depicting how 'khaddar' cotton is spun.
Upon arrival in Udaipur, hungry for some yummy food and pampering, we went to the famous (quite upscale) Ambrai restaurant overlooking the lake. Our stomachs were fully satisfied but our wallets weren't so happy.
There was a festival in Udaipur where women in colorful saris came and watched/participated in some rituals by the lake.
Great photo opportunities for us! Women in colorful saris overlooking Lake Pichola.
After Udaipur we headed to see some tigers. Here's an almost-aerial view of one section of the park we visited.
We saw lots of deers, birds, peacocks, and monkeys.
Here's a beautiful bird, sat right on the branch above our jeep. Photo credit to Jorge. But, WHERE is the tiger?
And there it was, that magnificent creature, meandering right between the bushes in and out of our sights, teasing us with his playful ears and tail. We were all novice tiger sightseers; we roared with gasps and wows while the safari guides shhhhh-ed us. Like a symphony, our "noise-level" went up and down. The tiger went about his ways, unaffected, indifferent. So it's true what they say about Ranthambore tigers -- very accustomed to humans and tiger tourists.
Here are some monkeys inside Ranthambore Fort.
Jaipur was a short stay, there we had our first couchsurfing experience. Here's our host Sunny and my husband Jorge. I wasn't allowed in that "men-only" section during prayer time because supposedly women are the barrier between men and enlightenment. All the women sat in the back behind the restricted zone.
Like most other tourists to India, we made our way to see the Taj Mahal.
Jorge stands awed by the Taj.
I tried a few yoga poses inside the Taj, hopefully making my yoga teacher proud.
Here's a nice India lady profile plus close-up of the Taj. Look at the arabic-like writing, we overheard that it's arabic but not really, that people don't really understand the writing.
Nice view of a bull walking the streets of Agra.
Here we are visiting Jageshwar, a hindu pilgrimage town with some nice temples.
Here are some hillside villages in Munsiyari, a town situated on the base of the great Himalaya range, about 8 - 10 hours from the closest railway station. It's amazing that here they have a basic-service hospital, a college, internet connection, pretty much any modern conveniences one would require. Before the Sino-Indian War and border closure, Munsiyari inhabitants used to reap profits from trading activities in Tibet, now this city is becoming more tourism-dependent.
A small convenience store located in Munsiyari.
Sunrise view of the himalayas.
Here we are, back in "civilization." This is Delhi's shining new metro, it's a tourist sight in and of itself to see it so empty!