Blogs from India, Asia - page 5

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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

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

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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
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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

Asia » India » Karnataka March 6th 2014

Hampi to Hassan If you are thinking of driving from Hampi to Hassan, be aware that the roads are pretty awful in places. One can see why this is a less well trodden route, most people jacking out of Karnataka at Hampi and taking the train to Goa. Not us though, we were off to see the great temples at Belur and Halebid, which necessitates this drive south. On the way we stopped at Chitradurga, to see the fort situated atop seven adjacent boulder strewn hills. The hill has seemingly been fortified for millennia and fell to Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1780 who lopped off the defeated king's head and stole all his treasure in time honoured Indian fashion. He was then succeeded by his son Tipu Sultan who further fortified the place and was ... read more
Marauding macaques

Asia » India » Goa » Agonda March 6th 2014

Monday 25th November 2013 We all arrived at Delhi Airport at about 10am local time. We assembled outside the departures doors and said our goodbyes. Most of my fellow trekkers were boarding a plane bound for the UK in a couple of hours. Lynda was catching a plane back to Australia, Jody was meeting with a guide to show her around Delhi before heading off on her tiger safari for a few days before returning to South Africa, and I was going to meet Dave who was arriving from London and we would continue our journey together down to Goa. As I got to the doors of the airport I could see there were armed guards on the doors and much to my horror would not let me in as Dave had my ticket to Goa ... read more
Dave walking along Agonda Beach
Agonda Beach, looking north
Betul

Asia » India » Karnataka March 5th 2014

It is difficult to convey the scale of Hampi. A city of 500,000 people, one of the great trading centres of the world in the 15 and 16th centuries, visited by merchants from England, Europe, the middle East and China. Devastated, pillaged and destroyed by vengeful Muslims from the Deccani sultanates after Talikota in 1565 (as the guide kept telling us ad nauseam), and then abandoned and overgrown by the jungle until discovered by an intrepid Englishman on his horse in the 19th century. And now a World Heritage Site, little known outside India. Massively long and wide colonnaded market avenues lead up to temple complexes of the 14th to 16th centuries. The temples were also social centres, so you find a dining and dormitory building, a consultation hall, a music and dancing hall and an ... read more
Intrepid explorer
Temple emerging from the jungle
At leisure in the coracle




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