Blogs from India, Asia - page 4

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Asia » India » Karnataka » Mysore March 10th 2014

Mysore overall is a very pleasant city – wide avenues, fine municipal buildings, though of course very much an Indian city. On our last full day here we went early to the Ranganathittu bird reserve near to Sriringapatna on the Cauvery river. We paid for a trip in a boat with other people, declining a private boat for INR2000. Suddenly the price came down to INR1000 (£10) at which price we said yes. Surprisingly we were not offered a receipt, I wonder if the two rangers declared our payment to their boss? The reserve comprises a number of small islands in the river. It is a beautiful serene place, with very few people if you arrive early. But peaceful it is not – instead the air is full of the sounds of thousands of birds cooing, ... read more
Nest building stork
The trainspotter
Obelisk at Sringapatna

Asia » India » Karnataka » Mysore March 9th 2014

Sunday morning. David is still recovering from Everton’s loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup. Continuing to meet our craving to eat something different, we reverse yesterday’s move from Indian to European food, and swap out the toast and omelette breakfast of the last ten days for an Indian breakfast of wada, sambur, yoghurt and lassi. Mr Ali, reliable as ever, collects us at 9am and we head to the Chamundi Hills which overlook Mysore. At the top is an old temple, still in use and absolutely heaving with people as today is Sunday and hence a day off. Mr Ali informs us that people start arriving at 5am. We decide not to join the queue, but instead wander back to the car through the numerous stalls selling trays of fruit and flowers for temple offerings ... read more
Lalitha Mahal Palace faded grandeur
Mysore palace
Sara with another nandi

Asia » India » Karnataka » Mysore March 9th 2014

We went back to the palace this evening to see it lit up. What an amazing sight - thousands of lights strung all over the place all shining brightly. turning it into a version of Cinderella's castle.... read more
Mysore palace at night

Asia » India » Madhya Pradesh » Bandhavgarh NP March 8th 2014

It’s a well-known fact that, people tend to ignore the beauty around them in search of something far away. And yes that’s exactly what happened in my case. My native place is a small town known as “katni”, in the state of Madhya Pradesh (MP). Just 85 kms away from katni, Bandhavgarh national park is situated, where the density of Bengal tigers is highest known in the world. This place was declared as a national park in the year 1968 and spreads over an area of 440/sqkm (including the buffer zone). Royal Bengal tigers were first introduced in the forest by the Maharaja of Rewa and the forest was a hunting ground for him, until it was declared a national park. And guess what; in all those years when I was in Katni, I had never ... read more
Protesting Villagers
Hut in the resort
Magadhi Entry Gate (6.30 am)

Asia » India » Karnataka March 8th 2014

We drive south through the rice paddies from Hassan. We ask Mr Ali to take us via Sharavanabelagola where there is a massive statue of a Jain saint on a hilltop. We arrive, gaze up at the 660 steps which you must ascend barefoot, and decide to give it a miss. The guide book suggests it’s a 2 hour round trip, barefoot up the rock which heats up. We return to the car, surrounded by aggressive hawkers and beggars clawing at us. We leave this unpleasant place. Sringapatnam. There are many ways to spell this town, but it was the site of the famous battle in 1799 when Tipu Sultan (he who owned the famous mechanical tiger now in the V&A Museum in London) was killed by the forces of the East India Company. The story ... read more
dungeon at Sringapatam
another day, another photo call
a venerable Ambassador

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Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala March 8th 2014

Just when I thought India could not surprise me, could not throw me anything new...BAM... I was hit. More accurately actually, I hit something. I lost control of my scooter and drove it straight into the side of the chai shop. Fuck! It threw me and my friend off to the side, leaving us both lying in pain on the dirty Indian soil, with hordes of men running towards us. I could feel only the intensity of the pressure on my chest as I took each breath. And the surge of blood escaping from the brand-new hole in my face. The worst of it actually came later. The night spent in the hospital getting x-rays and CT scans (that revealed no broken bones only bruised ribs) and a stitch in my cheek, all passed very quickly. ... read more
The small scar that's left
The cut on my hip
The bruise on my thigh

Asia » India » Assam March 8th 2014

After Nameri National Park I was headed for Manas National Park. My plan was to take buses from Nameri to Guwahati (the city I had flown into when I arrived in Assam) where I would stay overnight, and then the next day bus to Barpeta Road, which is the closest bus station to Manas (20km away). I had checked this when I got to Kaziranga in case there was a more direct route but was told that there was not. However at Nameri I found out that in fact there was a bus that went straight from Tezpur to Barpeta Road and it would take about seven hours. Even more conveniently I could catch that bus at Balipara before it reached Tezpur. At 8.45am one morning I hopped on that bus, the fare just 230 rupees ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka March 7th 2014

A gentle day today, probably just as well as we were both exhausted after two days of route marching in the midday sun around Hampi. A 9am start proved to be just as well after it took 45 minutes for breakfast to arrive. Who’d think scrambled egg and toast was such a complicated order? Belur and Halebid are about an hour’s drive away (no hotels recommended anywhere nearer). Both have 11th and 12th century temples, amongst the greatest in India, built by the Hoysala kings, with an extraordinary quantity of exquisite sculpture. Bangles on a dancer’s wrist that move, despite all being carved out of a single piece of stone, 64 elephants marching in a ground level frieze, every one different to the next, dancing girls, gods, demons, mythical beasts, pillars covered with carvings – the ... read more
Belur temple
Mrs Thomas has had enough.......
Nandi the bull

Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi March 6th 2014

If anyone has ever been interested in being in the movies, then lndia is the place to go. Or even if you are just interested in visiting a movie set and seeing how the magic is made. It is very exciting & a massive industry in lndia. In fact India has the largest movie industry in the world and took over the USA back in the 1970's. And now Bollywood has been making a huge impact on other international cinema. The first time l was asked to be in a movie (lol) I thought it was a big con. I was enjoying a beer with a Japanese guy in Fort Kochi, Kerala, when two 'agents' asked if we wanted to be in a movie. I laughed out loud & invited them to join us. I thought, ... read more
photo 2
photo 1 (2)
photo 4 (1)

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra March 6th 2014

So my time in India has come to an end for a while... I know I'll be back here again, maybe on business (I'm convinced I need to branch out some sort of enterprise to India at some point, the land of opportunity..) or for pleasure to visit Gujarat which I regretfully didn't have time to see on this visit. The past week has been jam packed with travelling but, thankfully, not as much as the week before. It was certainly a good decision of ours to pack the first week with more places in order to give ourselves more time to see the two big cities, Mumbai and Delhi, and also to allow ourselves to relax just a little bit more before we fly off to our next destinations. Mumbai was breathtakingly beautiful. We spent ... read more
Marine Drive in Mumbai
The Taj Mahal and I.
Saying farewell to my host family in Madurai




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