Tag Archive for: India

A line off pillowcases drying in the sunlight in Varanasi, India.
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21/ 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.
Line of boats at dawn on the river Ganges in India. The perplexing river Ganges.
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20/ 100 The Perplexing River Ganges

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.
Chickens in India
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19/ 100 Chickens in India

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.
A baby having its hair shaved in a religious ritual in Varanasi, India.
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18/ 100 Baby Shave

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.
Chow standing at the top of the ghats in Varanasi, India
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17/ 100 Can Cows Climb Steps

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.
Two boys taking a break from flying their kites by the side of the river Ganges in Varanasi, India.
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16/ 100 Fishermans Friends

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.
A bull in the Indian town of Pushkar casts a large shadow onto the road.
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15/ 100 The Dangerous Suburbs of Pushkar

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.
Do not touch the monkeys. Four monkeys resting next to an ochre wall in Jaipur, India.
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14/ 100 Do Not Touch The Monkeys

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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12/ 100 Scooter Dogs

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.
Goats in coats - one clothed goat fights another on a bench in India
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9/ 100 Goats in Coats

On our travels around India we came across quite a few goats wearing clothes. The goats themselves were pretty feral and would just hang about the streets, scavenging whatever they could find to eat and treating the urban landscape like their native mountain homes. They seemed to spend very little time on the ground, preferring instead to perch upon chairs and scooters.
Cow drinking from a water tap in the street and dribbling into a water container used to fill up jugs in a cafe.
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8/ 100 Drinking with the Cows

Compared to Western standards food hygiene in India can be quite poor to say the least. I'm certainly not saying that our food is better here in Europe, because it really isn't, it's just that I think we have much stricter rules about food preparation than they do in India.
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7/ 100 Dirty Laundry

The sacred river Ganges is your go-to destination in Varanasi for just about everything involving water and spirituality. This giant watercourse emerges fresh and clean, high in the Himalaya mountains, before steadily accumulating all the waste and filth of northern India.