In May 2018 we went to India for the third time. This time our plan was to go on a 9000-kilometer (5500-mile) overland journey across India using public transportation. We had come up with a route we planned to take, but no reservations were made upon our arrival to the subcontinent. And now I’m ready to show you what these 4 weeks in India looked like. Where did we go to and what did we see.
It’s not that easy to put a 4-weeks long journey across such a colorful country like India in a single photo story, so I have split it into two parts. And here is the Part 2.
To see the Part 1, click here.
4 Weeks in India, Part 2
As already mentioned, we couldn’t get all the train tickets we wanted so we had to change our travel plan a bit.
And so in the end our route across India looked like this: Bhubaneshwar – Kolkata – Varanasi – Delhi – Agra – Delhi – Amritsar – Jaipur – Pushkar – Jaisalmer – Ahmedabad – Mumbai – Goa. Mostly we traveled by train, a few times we took a bus and once we booked a private car with driver (for a day trip from Delhi to Taj Mahal).
1. Good Morning, Amritsar!
Late in the evening we boarded a train in Delhi. And some 10 hours later, at around 6 AM we arrived in Amritsar.
As it was this early and we knew that most probably we’ll not be allowed to check-in in our hostel, we decided to walk from the train station to the hostel. Not take a tuk-tuk or taxi. Here are kids going to school.
2. Let’s Go For a Walk
3. And More Kids Going to School
4. We Left Backpacks at Hostel and Headed for the Golden Temple
The Golden Temple is a central religious place of the Sikhs, one of the big religions in India. What a peaceful place it turned out to be!
You can easily recognize a Sikh man on the street. Because they wear turbans, have a smaller or bigger knife with them all the time and they wear a steel or iron bracelet around the wrist. There are a lot of Sikhs in Amritsar.
5. A Place, Where You Feel Like You Are in a Fairy Tale
6. Or in a Bollywood Movie
7. Just in Time We Made It to the Viewing Platform
You see, this is India. Colorful from up close, grey and boring from above and afar, save for those few parks here and there.
8. Taking a Shot With Local Guys
9. The Moment You Leave the Temple You’re Thrown Back Into Reality
Which isn’t less interesting and colorful. Only less pretty. Often way less pretty.
10. But In a Way It’s the Same Fairy Tale You Just Left
You must have seen this scene. We are just walking down the street. Taking photos. And then this old man notices us and runs to his pot. He wants us to show how he is making the soup. Wow, just wow.
11. With Lots of Smiling and Friendly People
12. Wherever You Look
13. It’s Early Afternoon and We Need to Hurry
We have “rented” a tuk-tuk to take us to the India – Pakistan border, an hour ride away from our hostel. We are going to Wagah-Attari border ceremony. It’s a very patriotic and spectacular event taking place every single day, as we have heard.
Wait… all 8 of us have to share this one small tuk-tuk? Turns out yes.
14. The Ceremony Starts
And it starts with… woman dancing to the rhytms of popular Indian pop songs. What? It’s something we didn’t expect to see.
15. And Then the Soldiers Come
16. And Everyone Seems So Energized
The ceremony is about an hour long. Super loud music is being played almost non-stop.
So it can be tiring. But at the same time it’s definitely something worth seeing. If you are a foreigner then most probably you’ll be asked to take the separate VIP entrance, which means almost no standing in lines.
17. One of the Soldiers
18. One Last Selfie in Amritsar… and We Are Off to Pushkar
19. A Bit of Hiking Near Pushkar
20. And Some More Hiking
This is Pushkar down there on the right upper side of the photo. What else you see there is Pushkar lake.
21. Oh, Yes, It’s an Overloaded Truck
22. A Few Monkey Shots and… We Are Moving On
It was very hot. We were tired. And some of us felt unwell. So most of the time in Pushkar we just rested.
23. Taking a Train to the Desert Town – Jaisalmer
24. A City With a Majestic Fort Which Looks Like Straight Out of Fairy Tale
25. This Is How It Looks From the Fort
26. And This Is How It Looks Up Close
Jaisalmer is a city in the far West of India, World Heritage Site and just a super cute place I would everyone recommend to visit whenever you’re traveling to India.
27. A City With Colorful Markets
28. Yep, Colorful Markets
29. And Friendly People
30. A City Which Doesn’t Feel Like a Real Place
But more like a Arabic fairy tale.
31. But the Real Reason Why We Came Here is the Thar Desert
After a day of rest in Jaisalmer, we are heading into the Thar Desert.
32. Our Camels Are Already Waiting
33. Ready to Go
34. In The Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert
35. After an Hour We Have Arrived to Our Home for Tonight
Desert will be our home tonight.
36. Someone Looks Tired
37. Complete Silence
Surreal silence after all these weeks spent traveling across India.
38. Good night!
39. And Now Leaving the Desert
There are some sand dunes as well, though, small ones. But mostly this is how the Thar desert in India looks like.
40. Back to Big City – Ahemdabad, a Home for More Than 5 Million
16 hours on a bus, and we have arrived to Ahmedabad. We are here only for a 24-hour stopover, before continuing our journey to Mumbai. And it’s crazy hot on the street. Around +50 C / 122 F.
Today’s plan – watch a Hindi movie in the cinema near by. And go to city only late in the afternoon.
41. Busy Market Road in Ahmedabad
42. And Happy and Welcoming People
43. Ahmedabad Train Station
This is how it looks at the train station in India. In a not so big city of around 5 million people (in Ahmedabad). Not as bad as you probably would have imagined?
At night it becomes less pretty. And in bigger cities, like in Delhi or Kolkata, it’s in general is much more crowded and accordingly more dirty. All in all situation is improving and now, for example, in Delhi it’s significantly cleaner than it was just 2 years ago.
44. We Are Sitting on the Floor Next to These Women
Who wants me to take photos of them.
45. And Then These Men Asked for a Photo, Too
46. Hi, Mumbai!
India or Malaysia? It’s Mumbai, India.
47. Busy Streets Like Everywhere in India
48. And Beautiful Colonial Buildings (Not Like Everywhere in India)
49. And Some More
It’s India’s Big Ben. The Rajabai Clock Tower.
50. And “India as Usual” Sights
51. And a LOT of Sugar Cane Juice Stands. A LOT of These
52. Let’s Take a Local Mumbai Train
53. The Same One, Which Can Be Also Very Packed
54. And Let’s Go to the Dharavi Slum
We miss our stop and get out one stop later. Ok, let’s then just walk back.
This is how it looks here. Not in the actual slums already, but it looks like we could be there as well. Dharavi is the largest slum in Asia. Even though it may sound like a no-go place, we have decided to go and see ourselves how is it there.
55. Dirty Place? However, This the Kind of People You Meet Here
56. And Now We Are Entering Dharavi.
A no-go place, really?
57. Everyone Stops, Many Smile, We Feel Welcomed
58. A Photo Time Again
59. And Again
60. Yes, Life Is Tough for Many in Dharavi
And this is not the ugliest street. It’s a pretty good one. It’s clean and you can see the sky from here. In many places you never see the sun. And in some places the same narrow street is also where the wasterwater flows.
Dharavi is the second-largest slum in Asia and and the third-largest slum in the world. It isn’t a too big place as its area is just over 2.1 square kilometres, but at the same time an estimated 700 000 people are calling this place their home. It’s crazy a lot of people for a place of this size.
Yes, life isn’t easy there. And living conditions are very harsh for many. However you don’t see hopelesness there.
What makes this place even more special is people. Some of the friendliest and nicest people I’ve ever met. People like you and me.
61. What’s This? It’s Dhobi Ghat
Dhobi Ghat is India’s (world’s as well?) largest outdoor laundry. This is how it looks from the outside and we also went to look what’s inside.
62. This Is How It Looks There
63. And Like This
64. And Here They Iron Clothes
What’s important to understand – it’s not some kind of poor people’s laundry. It’s where apparel brands send their clothing to be washed before it goes to the shops. It’s where big hotels and hospitals wash their laundry. It’s that kind of place.
65. Here You See the World’s Most Expensive Private House
Yes, this 27-story skyscraper, valued at 1 billon USD and run by a staff of 600, is a private house of a wealthy Indian family.
This is Mumbai.
This is India.
Do you have questions about India? Do not hesitate to contact us!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.