Anjci All Over | Travel Blog


Writing a blog about India has to be close to impossible. Where do you even start? The country is so overwhelming, intense, contrasting, shocking, fascinating – that no words in the world would ever do it justice. Not even to mention so much has been written about India already.

When I scroll through my photos of India, multiple memories spring to mind. I remember India’s monumental temples where walls are densely covered in exuberant handiwork and free roaming monkeys are as normal as worshippers and tourists. I remember the hectic, traffic besieged Delhi – its massive malls in well-off southern neighbourhoods clashing decidedly with simple Old Delhi street markets. I remember the variety of colour – Jaipur in pink, Jodhpur in blue and Udaipur in hazy white thanks to all its lakes. Above all, I remember the people – old and young, male and female, villagers and urbanites – running up to me to have their picture taken, laughing excitedly seeing themselves on camera, queuing with their phones to take a photo of me, asking where I come from – showing ceaseless interest towards a foreign visitor.

I may have only spent 10 days in India – all of them in Delhi and Rajasthan – but my memories are countless. I feel the best way to reflect them in this blog would be in pictures: starting from the beginning of my trip, in Delhi, and moving on gradually through the state of Rajasthan – to Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur – before eventually heading back.

I hope you will enjoy this short photographic journey through a fraction of an amazing country that is India.


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25 December 2011: Delhi airport is so foggy that I barely notice we touch the ground. It is my only full day in India’s capital city; I rush through Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas village and Vasant Kunj malls – completely missing out on Delhi’s touristic sights yet greatly enjoying the company of local friends. Absolute highlight? Watching “Don 2” movie starring Shah Rukh Khan on a most atypical Christmas Day ever ~ Delhi

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26 December 2011: My train – my first Indian train ride! – is not until noon, and I take the chance to explore Karol Bagh in the early hours before escaping to Old Delhi for a quick rush through Chawri street market. The homeless are burning waste and wearing blankets to keep warm in Delhi’s notorious winter chill; chai vendor I finally find at 6am in a secluded backstreet is literally flooded with customers. Cows roaming freely through the streets, wildly beeping auto-rickshaws, locals curiously eyeing me and my camera – everything blends into the very Indian experience I had counted on before coming here ~ Delhi

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26 December 2011: The Old Delhi Train Station is a world of its own. People are filling up every inch of the platform when my train pulls in – slowly enough to allow the faster passengers to hop on while it is still in motion and secure better seats. The few tourists I see will certainly not be travelling anywhere near me: for my seat is in the lowest “commoners” class, one of the Sleeper cars. Despite my worst expectations, the experience turns out rather positive, and the five hours to Jaipur fly quickly by. Having reached my destination, I wander through Rajasthan’s largest city in a search of an “authentic” lassi, end up meeting a strange local guru who tells me the details of my past life I had long forgotten myself; another utmostly bizarre day in India ~ Jaipur

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27 December 2011: On my first full day in the “Pink City”, I hire an auto-rickshaw and explore Jaipur’s numerous visitor attractions: City Palace, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal and Galta Temple – also paying quick visits to a local fabric factory, elephant “house” and Chacha aka the city’s “best chai brewer”. A lot of time is spent dragging through Jaipur’s insane traffic, but I don’t mind: the auto-rickshaw provides an excellent cover for candid street shots ~ Jaipur

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28 December 2011: The exploration of Jaipur continues at a much slower pace: in the morning, the quirky guru friend of mine takes me to his astrologist – who “predicts” I will have two children and live happily ever after. Relieved (as one would be after hearing this), I head to the Royal Gaitor complex and revisit Galta Temple before catching an evening train to Jodhpur ~ Jaipur

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29 December 2011: Smaller Jodhpur wins me over immediately. I could spend hours getting lost in the narrow streets of the Old Town, amid the blue passageways and eye-catching multicolour doors – but cannot miss the Mehrangarh Fort towering majestically over the “Blue City”. In the evening, I join a Gujarati family on a tour to the so-called Bishnoi villages – where peacocks and deer are pacing around undisturbed, locals use open fire to make food and goatherds outnumber cars. Time here seems to have stood still for decades ~ Jodhpur

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30 December 2011: There isn’t any time to spare, and I leave for the final stop of my short discovery of India – Udaipur, the “Lake City”. My driver Usman and I cover the distance of 270 km in a whopping 10 hours – so much there is to see on the way. Highlights include Ranakpur Jain Temple (which, many say, is the most impressive of all Jain temples), the massive Kumbhalgarh Fort and, well, endless chai stops. Life has never seemed sweeter ~ Jodhpur to Udaipur

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31 December 2011: On the last day of 2011, my newly acquired friend Usman volunteers to show me the best parts of Udaipur and its surroundings. We spend the whole day on the road – wandering, exploring, singing along to Hindi tunes and laughing – before settling in Usman’s family home in the company of his wife and two sons over a wonderful meal of biryani. I end what has been a FANTASTIC year on the rooftop of my hotel, watching the fireworks and wishing that 2012 may be at least half as exciting as its predecessor. Happy New Year, India! Happy New Year, world ~ Udaipur

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1 January 2012: Everyone is still asleep when I return to the streets of Udaipur for some leisurely wandering. What beats enjoying city life from within – not really rushing anywhere, enjoying every set of bangles in the best hidden stall you could find, taking time to talk to locals, playing cricket with smiley children and topping it all with some sweet chai? Oh, and I manage to stop by Udaipur’s magnificent City Palace for some tourist action, too. Come 6pm, and I catch my overnight train back to Delhi – the first day of 2012 has certainly been a success ~ Udaipur

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It goes without saying that India exceeded every one of my expectations. I can’t wait to be going back… and wait, I am soon! Stay tuned for my imminent visit to Mumbai in the beginning of March. As well as – possibly, hopefully – a visit to Southern India in the next 12 months.

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View my photos of India on Flickr: Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur



Comments

One response to “India in Pictures: Delhi and Rajasthan”

  1. Wani says:

    awesome images as always Anna – i loveeee the one of the lil boy staring excitedly from the train window and the guy with the moustache is still a favourite….a whirldwind tour of vibrant colours, beautiful architecture and interesting personalities….looking forward to your next trip…

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Welcome to ANJCI ALL OVER!

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My name is Anna and welcome to my blog! I work full-time in London and spend most of my free time travelling the world and taking pictures, with the aim to see as many of the world's less visited places as possible. My favourite parts of the world include Afghanistan, Chile, Falkland Islands, Greece, Myanmar and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Take a look at my stories and photos!

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