|Holy cows roaming the streets|
|These Sikhs let me take a pic and then got really angry|
Here's another thing I wasn't expecting. I knew cows were considered holy in India but I somehow thought they would be in sanctuaries. Not so. They roam the streets eating grass on the side of the road or rummaging through garbage piles all the while leaving cow dung behind. Often the cows were in ill health as were dogs that roam the streets.
|Going for a camel ride in the Thar Desert|
|Locals come to chat and make friends|
|Porters with traditonal turba|
People hang around when you're taking photos and actually ask you to take a picture of them, then promptly demand money. My pics were photo bombed all the time.
And then there are those who absolutely do not want you taking their photo. I very nearly got lynched by two Sikh blokes who looked fabulous complete with fancy swords. I had no idea they would take exception to a photo. I was saved by the swift intervention of our tour guide.
Another highlight for me was sleeping in a tented camp in the Thar Desert. The owner of this place was quite charismatic and regaled us with tales of his visitors and famous friends. Our group took an obligatory camel ride out into the desert. The staff and owners at some of the places we stayed were so much fun. Indian people are warm, friendly, proud of their country and love to interact. Men shared stories and anecdotes while the ladies ensured we were well fed. Gender roles are traditional.
|Covering our heads to go into Golden Temple|
The educated people and those from higher castes all spoke perfect English. The poorer people and lower castes could not. The caste system although abolished is still heavily entrenched in the minds of people. You see untouchables living on the streets. I found it so hard that these people accept this as their lot and see death as the only way out. Read more - here
|Tented accommodation in the Thar Desert|
For more on other travels visit the travel archive page - here.
|Meherangarh Fort Jodhpur|