My Trip to India

I visited India for twelve days in November & December 2008. I was shocked, surprised and astounded by so many things that I can probably write a book about it. Everything in India is an adventure, from travelling on trains, trying local cuisine to even just walking on the streets.

I was shocked by the pollution and poverty. I saw many people living on the streets, the most shocking one was a middle aged man sleeping on a busy pavement, with no trousers and a load of excrement on his buttock and on the ground. Many people, including kids, searched through garbage mountains to look for anything that could be of value. Or people washing themselves in water which made them dirtier than before the wash. The even more shocking thing was that the people I saw seemed perfectly content in these less than perfect conditions. This wisdom of knowing how to be satisfied impressed me. All these images made me realise how privileged and yet unappreciative of what I had. The Global Rich List proclaimed that I was among the top few percent richest person in the world. I have always remained doubtful of it until this trip.

On a brighter note, I was amazed by how nice Indians were. Putting the tourist traps aside, people were helpful and polite. Shopkeepers in the tourist centre of Udaipur kept inviting tourists to talk. Some of them wanted to sell the tourists something, but even more of them just wanted to talk. I have spent over one hour respectively talking to several shopkeepers. Their openness and friendliness was astounding.

Since India was such a big adventure, I took a lot of photos to document the trip. Initially, I selected over 200 photos to appear on this page, and it took me hours to painstakingly decide which photos I should have omitted from the page. I finally got the number of photos down to less than 100. Hopefully these photos will be representative of what I saw, what I experienced and what I felt.

Taj Mahal surrounded by graceful tranquility
Taj Mahal at sunrise
An Indian guru
Close up of the India Gate in Delhi
India Gate in its full glory
Panorama at Jama Masjid
Inside Jama Masjid
Showcasing the beauty of symmetry at Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
A mini version at Lodi Park, Delhi
Making Indian sweets. Then this guy got slapped in the head by his boss for being so camera sensitive!
A food market in Delhi
Another stall selling exotic foodstuff
This is not a farm, but a live animal market!
Watches submerged in water to proof they are waterproof
I thought only Africans carry stuff on their heads.
Initially I thought they were asking for money, but they were asking me to take a photo of them.
More kids asking for photos. Note the earring on the kid on the right!
Charming school boys again
These school boys were on a school outing, the boy in the middle asked for a photo, and in no time the whole class rushed to join in, much to the frustration of the teachers.
Teacher's nightmare part II! these chlidren were so enthusiastic about photos that they jumped up and down in front of the camera.
A snake charmer
A mobile shop selling locks and chains
A man using a phone on the street, and it is not even a mobile phone.
Local election booth in Delhi
A typical scene of the streets of Indian cities
Carrying a neatly arranged platter of ceremonial items, and the items didn't even get displaced.
Shaving on the streets
I never thought sleeping on a row of four motorcycles was possible. But then, it's India, anything is possible.
Getting water, and having their daily work out in the meantime
Sunset at Udaipur
City Palace, Udaipur
Queens of Udaipur looked through these holes to see the King coming back from battles, in the Amber Fort, Udaipur.
A courtyard for the King's twelve wives in the Amber Fort, Udaipur.
A beautiful display of light and shadows
Camels on the streets
Donkies on the streets
A cow finding solace from a motorcycle
Neatly arranged shop display
Pigeons lining up on a wire
A flight to safety
A glimpse of Indian wedding parade
Parade interrupted by a dog
Typical houses in Udaipur
Getting a clear view of his stall
A simple storage building for medical oxygen.
Almost all trucks appeal for drivers to horn, which explains that horns go off every second in India.
Arranging ceremonial flowers for sale
Colourful displays in shops to stimulate desire to spend
A beautiful 3D peacock above a gate
A beautiful mosaic in the Amber Fort, Jaipur
Juice stalls arrangements of fruits to visually stimulate your taste buds
Real bank notes arranged for ceremonial purposes
Jagdish Temple, Udaipur
The Indian way to ride a car
bathing in water that makes you even dirtier
A (what I regard to be a) slum in Delhi
Well utilised land: for hanging clothes, collecting rubbish, cleaning dishes in the buckets of water, and there is even a stall on the right
The photo is too small to tell, but the eggs, bread AND the people are covered with flies. I counted, and there were 34 flies visible in the photo on the man in the left alone. And note the barber shaving a client in the middle behind the stall!
The level of pollution really shocked me. Scenes like this are certainly not rare.
Cenotaphs of past nobilities
Local people lining up to shake hands with a white tourist
Gandhi Museum. And that boy really wanted to be in the photo as he kept changing poses.
An elephant relieving....well, no explanations needed for this photo.
More elephants for tourists to ride on
The entrance of Fatehpur Sikri
Inside Fatehpur Sikri
Brightly dressed construction workers
Ironing clothes on the street
City Palace, Udaipur
Mud houses in a rural part of India
A farm near Jaipur
Contrast between the City Palace, Udaipur and the surrounding buildings
A beautiful and serene escape from the bustling city life: Sahelion Ki Badi in Udaipur
Courtyard of Sahelion Ki Badi
Heena paintings

Created: 10 December 2008
Last updated: 10 October 2010