Travels in Rajasthan, Ladakh & Northern India – 1983 onwards
As well as visits to Nepal, I have made a number visits to India. The first of these was in 1983; a photographic holiday in the desert state of Rajasthan. This colourful area, to the southwest of Delhi, is known as the ‘Land of Princes’ and contains, among others, the former Princely States of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner. Agra, famed for the Taj Mahal, and the famous Nature Reserve of Bharatphur lie on its borders. The Rajputs are one of India’s ‘martial’ races, and to travel among these noble people is a privilege. We journeyed among these people for some two weeks, stopping overnight in palaces and tented camps: this was a wonderful introduction to India and its’ people.
My second visit to India was in 1990 when I travelled to the Buddhist state of Ladakh, on the border with Tibet. As well as Ladakh, and its’ capital Leh, we visited the green Kulu valley, Simla (the old summer ‘capital’ of British India) and Delhi itself. The people and sights of this visit were in complete contrast to those of the first visit; a countryside of greys and browns, with patches of green and yellow where the waters of the infant River Indus have been used to water the land. The people of this land are a gentle race of Tibetan stock, and we remind ourselves that this area used to be called ‘Middle Tibet’.
India seems to have taken over the ‘hold’ for me that Nepal once had. In 2005 I returned and visited Calcutta, Darjeeling, and the hills of Assam, whilst in 2006 I returned to Ladakh and trekked into the remote mountain range of Nubra. The 2009 visit was ‘abortive’, as heavy rain prevented an attempt to reach the remote region of Spiti. I finally got to Spiti in 2011 – well – that was different – two wonderful weeks in a remote, (at that time) untravelled and timeless world. Subsequently I have travelled to Gangotri and the source of the mighty Ganges and made two other trips to Ladakh.
‘Indian Memories’ is a colourful compilation of highlights from these tours.
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