https://www.trevorwilsonphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/Pillowcases.jpg 1000 1500 Trevor https://www.trevorwilsonphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Logo300px.png Trevor2023-09-20 10:36:582023-12-20 16:35:3821/ 100 Hanging out the Washing
The relics of the caste system are still plainly obvious in India, despite people telling us it had long been abolished. The owner of this particular B&B wasted no time in introducing himself as a Rajput, a member of the warrior caste that sits right at the apex of the pyramid just beneath the Brahmin or priests.
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So here’s what perplexes me the most about the river Ganges. As the river is so incredibly important to them, why do they quite literally treat it like a waste disposal site and toilet? It is worshipped by the very same people who fill it full of pollution and grime.
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Whilst wandering the streets of India we often came across elderly people, sitting in chairs next to the road wrapped tightly in several blankets (we were there in the winter), dozing through the day. I am guessing that there isn’t a great state-run care system for the elderly that is accessible to everyone so, if you could, it seemed common to take your parents to work to look after them.
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People frequently ask me why I love India so much. It is, after all, not the easiest place to get around and there will certainly be times when you wished you were back at home. I've seen some of the most horrible things there, and also some of the most wonderful and on each of our two trips there were times when I would have happily been teleported back home. Not all of those points in time involved toilets, but was certainly a major factor.
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Before our second trip to India we were chatting about our previous visit with a friend who was a farmer. The conversation was mainly about the scattering of un-farmed farm animals that were dotted through every city we visited and were free to roam anywhere they desired. Things got a little heated when he told us it was a well-known fact that cattle can’t climb steps. He said they were very reluctant to walk up them and would never walk down unless forced by a farmer. He said their physiology wouldn’t allow it.
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These two young boys magically appeared each day whenever we sat down so that Fiona could work on her travel sketchbook and I could have a mental reset after a hot day walking the streets of Varanasi.
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The small town of Pushkar, in the dry and dusty Thar Desert between Jodhpur and Jaipur, was a fascinating place to visit. We arrived into Ajmer on the wonderful Shatabdi express train from Jaipur. Unlike some of the other trains we had experienced this one did indeed offer an express service, and had a great food served to us too.
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I really liked this scene next to a temple in Jaipur. It reminded me of one of those dramatic Italian renaissance paintings where something terrible has just happened and angels have come down from heaven to tend to the sick. Perhaps there had been a fight to the death over a poppadum.
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We have visited the beautiful city of Jaipur, in the northern Rajasthan state of India, a couple of times now. It is a relatively relaxing and cultured place, a few hours south of Delhi, with lots to see in a fairly small area. We knew of the main touristy things to see but, as usual, we chatted to our host when we arrived and she mentioned a few other places that were definitely not on our radar.
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Alongside all the cows wandering the busy streets of India, there are always a lot of dogs. They are mostly feral street dogs and spend much of their days lazing about the place in the shards of sunlight that shine through the gaps in the tall buildings. On the whole, though, they were quite focussed on trying to keep out of the way of people, who weren't as forgiving of the dogs as they are their giant cattle cousins.
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Was it worth the trip to the plastic debris-lined streets of Agra to see the Taj Mahal? Not really. It just confirmed to me why we generally avoid the biggest tourist traps. It was super busy, even just minutes after opening in the morning. We had been told that getting there early was the key, so we were there about 10 minutes after opening and it was already heaving populated with enough people to fill a small town.
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Udaipur is a stunningly beautiful Indian city in Rajasthan which, like many other towns in India, is inhabited by people following a huge array of different religions. The most prevalent faiths seemed to be Hindu, Muslin, Jain and Sikh — all of which discourage the drinking of alcohol.