Reflections on India

Reflections on India

Reflections on India I’ve had a couple of weeks since leaving India to process my nearly two months of adventure throughout the multi-faceted country.  India was without a doubt, the most unique place I’ve had the the opportunity to visit.  I had so many crazy experiences, some extremely good, others not so much.  I alternated between expressing my love for the country and wanting to rip my hair out in frustration.  Other people whom have been to India have said that they have a love/hate relationship with the country, and…

New Delhi, India, Not for the Faint of Heart

New Delhi, India, Not for the Faint of Heart

New Delhi The city of New Delhi, India was my last stop before heading to Europe.  For a lot of travelers coming to India, Delhi is their first taste of the chaos and intense crowds that they will encounter the rest of their trip. Having already been in India for almost two months, I’d tried to avoid the large cities, with the exception of Kolkata and Jaipur, as they didn’t have the best reputations.  Delhi is known for being the most polluted city in the world.  Couple that with the…

Recommended Movies about India

Recommended Movies about India

Recommended Movies about India Similar to my post about novels and books to read to gain more insight about Indian life and culture, here are a few movies that are worth watching.  Of course they are made by Hollywood and the Western world, and the most authentic movies would be from Bollywood.  I saw two Bollywood movies while in India and would also recommend giving them a watch (although they are in Hindi with no English subtitles!) Life of Pi Similar to the book, Life of Pi tells the story…

Recommended Books and Novels about India

Recommended Books and Novels about India

Recommended Books and Novels about India When I travel to a particular country, I try to ready books about that particular country, both non-fiction and fiction.  I find that doing so helps to enhance one’s experience and appreciation for the particular culture in question.  I had plenty of time to read during those long bus and train journeys, including an 18 hour one from Jaisalmer to Delhi!  Here are a few of my favorites, as well as a couple others that I did not get a chance to read, but…

The Wacky Wagah Border Crossing

The Wacky Wagah Border Crossing

The Wacky Wagah Border Crossing If someone were to ask me what the craziest experience or thing I witnessed during my two months in India, even though there were quite a bit, the Wagah Border Crossing would top the list.  India and Pakistan have had a tumultuous relationship, including fighting in four wars, that has stretched back to Indian independence in 1947.  Flash forward to present day, their relationship is still very sour, and there is only one possible border crossing via land, at the Wagah Border. To add a…

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar While not originally in my travel plans, Amritsar was a last minute addition on my way to Delhi before I would leave India for Europe.  I’m really glad I took the efforts to get to this city, because both the Golden Temple and the Wagah Border Crossing, remain two of the more memorable experiences of my trip. Amritsar, located in the state of Punjab is home to the holiest temple to the Sikh religion.  This impressive structure is gilded in gold and is open 24…

Dharamshala, India

Dharamshala, India

Dharamshala-Home of the Dalai Lama and the Exiled Tibetan People My next stop on my travels through Northern India, was Dharamshala, famous for being the home of the Dalai Lama, who has been in exile from Tibet since 1959.  Nestled in the mountains, Dharamshala also is a small town that is great to unwind and relax for a few days.  There were also hiking and trekking options, but I was running short on time since I had booked my flight to Germany at the end of April to attend the…

Manali: Hiking the Himalayas

Manali: Hiking the Himalayas

Manali, India- Hiking the Himalayas Manali is a small town located up in the north of India in the state of Himachal Pradesh. A popular tourist and adventure destination, Manali offers a wide variety of adrenaline-focused activities from hiking to white water rafting to paragliding. It is also known as a “party spot” in the summer months, as the notorious beach party spot Goa becomes almost inhabitable during the rainy monsoon months. Since it is located at 1800 meters above sea level in the Himalayas, Manali receives quite a bit…

My Experiences Staying in an Ashram in Rishikesh

My Experiences Staying in an Ashram in Rishikesh

My Experiences Staying in an Ashram in Rishikesh Although very stereotypical, I knew I wanted to stay in an ashram during my time in Rishikesh to have a different experience than the hostels I have stayed in thus far.  Made popular by the Beatles, Rishikesh is now a tourist mecca for Indians and foreigners.  Some come for spiritual enlightenment and to “find themselves”, while others come for yoga teacher training or to simply see what all of the fuss is about.  I like to think that I belong in the…

Exploring the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh

Exploring the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh

Exploring the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh Being a big Beatles fan, I was eager to visit the old ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, where the Beatles famously spent time there back in 1968.  Seeking a break from the crowds and attention, they enrolled in a Transcendental Meditation course and used their free time for songwriting.  Many of the songs written then were included in the famous White Album, released later that year.  Their time spent in Rishikesh wasn’t all happy though.  Creative differences caused disagreements and Ringo Starr and his…