Foto Friday – Woman at bus station, Kuchaman

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jameshandlon/10728573344/

A shot I took of a smartly dressed young woman waiting for a bus at the swelteringly hot bus station in the middle of Kuchaman City in Rajasthan.

During our stay we resided at the once opulent but now rather dilapidated Kuchaman Fort perched atop a 1000-foot-high (300 m) cliff overlooking the sandy desert beyond and the town below.

Trips down to the town were a highlight and were only achieved by walking, or taking a beat-up jeep, down a winding old cobbled former elephant path.

Travel is fatal to prejudice…

travel is fatal

This is more true of India than any other country I have traveled to thus far. Which is why one day I hope to return to the great sub-continent and delve more deeply into her mysteries and nuances. I wish to return to other parts, possibly in the south, to the Tamil Nadu or Kerala regions and experience the unique ways, cuisine and customs of a people who once populated this great land mass many centuries before the countless waves of invasion and immigration that created the modern day India that we all know today.

But that is for another time, until then however I have the extensive memories of my time in Rajasthan, from the elephants and pink forts of Jaipur to the poverty-stricken slums of Aggra, from the splendour of the Taj and the riches of the City Palace to the street kids that were just about everywhere.

India is the greatest paradox on this planet and that is why it is so alluring and beguiling, and that is why I know that one day I must return.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles … 05/04/2010

To truly experience India you need to experience Indian railways! This is a well known popularly held belief around the world. Armed with this thought my last day in India was not going to be one of sadness at leaving, but one filled with excitement at having a six hour rail journey ahead of me across the vast desert expanse between Ajmer and Delhi aboard the famed Shatabi Express. Continue reading “Planes, Trains and Automobiles … 05/04/2010”

Last days of the Raj … 04/04/2010

Kuchaman Fort

Dawn broke on yet another amazing day in India. We awoke in our opulent room at the very top of Kuchaman Fort and opened the small wooden shutters to reveal the world below. A world of smells and noises rising up the steep rocky crags adorning the hill on top of which we were perched. The heat wafted in through the windows as if standing behind a coach exhaust in a crowded bus station. The candle which had been our saviour throughout the blackouts of the night previously had now whittled its way down to nothing more than a small waxy stub. Continue reading “Last days of the Raj … 04/04/2010”