My husband and i have just returned from a whirlwind trip to India during which we experienced soaring highs and unimaginable lows; ultimately ending with a traumatising week in the hospital and an early flight home.
India is a land of contrasts, of hypocrisy, beauty and contradictions; an unrelenting mish mash of culture showcasing the best and worst of the human condition.
The temples and forts were spectacular, the food delicious and the poverty, waste and pollution obscene and upsetting.
In this photo journal i will attempt to give a glimpse of India as we experienced it; the good, the bad and the ugly.
I feel that this quote from my diary accurately sums up my experiences.
“India so far is constantly breaking my heart and then , almost instantly, mending it and making it stronger”.
Red Fort, Delhi.
Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi.
Henna Tattoo, Jaipur.
The Stunning Amber Fort, Jaipur.
Indian Hospitality, Jaipur. Family is a central part of Indian Culture.
Rubbish and cows littering the streets of Jaipur.
A traditional Indian Thali, Jaipur.
A Hindu Sadhu (holy man), Jaipur.
The Crazy Streets of Agra.
The Unbelievably Crowded but Majestic Taj Mahal, Agra.
Rubbish and Reflections, Agra.
The Taj from the Yamuna River, Agra.
Crows, Monkeys and the Impact of Excessive Population Density.
Agra Train Station.
The Classic Tuk Tuk, Orchha.
Temple Ruins, Orchha
Although a sacred part of the Hindu religion, cows are are often starving, mistreated and living within the city’s waste. This was on of the most difficult things to witness.
More Delicious Food, Orchha.
Beautiful 16th Century Temples, Orchha.
A rural household in Orchha.
The Typical Indian Truck.
Offerings to Mother Ganga (Ganges River), Varanasi.
The Ganges River.
The Best Lassi’s in India (Blue Lassi – Varanasi).
Aghori Sadhus, Varanasi.
The Ghats (steps) on the Ganges River, Varanasi.
Drying Cloth on the River Bank, Varanasi.
Nathan Crusin the Ganges, Varanasi.
Our wonderful Tuk Tuk Driver, Varanasi.
80 ft Buddha Statue, Sarnath.
A Modern Monk Texting on an Iphone, Sarnath.
Monks at the Great Stupa (the site of the Buddha’s first pilgrimage), Sarnath.
Personally contributing to India’s mountain of plastic waste. This trip really highlighted the negative impact that tourism can have on the local environment and wider world. As the tap water was off limits, we found we were producing this amount of waste roughly every two days. This is not a situation i would like to repeat therefore, in the future i will commit to more localised travel destinations and invest in a decent filter water bottle and purification tablets.
Stuck in hospital with Septicemia. Unfortunately this signaled the end of our trip. Despite our untimely return to Australia, i am thankful to be home and glad to have had the experiences that we did. Good and bad, India will forever have a place in my heart.