3/23/2009 to 3/29/2009 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Back to Varanasi: walking the ghats

VaranasiI returned to Varanasi to meet up with my friend Jon, who I knew from my grad school days at UCSB. He was in town on business, to install some equipment at the local university, B.H.U. It was nice to see someone I hadn’t met in the last 2 years. I certainly didn’t mind being back in Varanasi, walking the ghats each morning. […]

3/20/2009 to 3/21/2009 | India , Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh: Tigers in the wild, at last

3rd Tiger I saw, Bandhavgarh National ParkI’ve never had good experiences with Indian wildlife parks. For the most part my experience has been that I pay too much and see too little, at Ranthambore I road around in a jeep seeing little more than deer while Indian tourists who paid a quarter of the price I did talk loudly the whole time. Nevertheless, I did want to see a tiger in the wild, so I decided to make one last try visiting Bandhavgarh National Park which claims one of the highest densities of Tigers in the world, reputedly one of the best places to attempt to see the big cats. […]

3/14/2009 to 3/18/2009 | Bihar , India

Bodhgaya

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya Few places I’ve been to induce serenity like Bodhgaya, site of the Buddha’s enlightenment. Walking around the Mahabodhi temple marking the spot beneath the Bodhi tree where the Buddha reached enlightenment the melodic chants of Thai, Tibetan, and Sri Lankan monks and pilgrims fill the air of Buddhism’s most sacred site. […]

3/10/2009 to 3/13/2009 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Holi in Varanasi

Holi celebrations, VaranasiI found myself in Varanasi for Holi the North Indian festival celebrated by the throwing dye and colored water. It is also an excuse for young sexually repressed Indian males to drink and walk the streets in marauding mobs fueled by alcohol and armed with colored water creating a high instance of sexual attacks during the holiday. As a result, many of the guesthouses in Varanasi, including mine, locked their doors during Holi to “protect” their guests. Not being a female and certain I could take care of myself, I wanted to go out and witness the carnage so I put on my most worn cloths (yes, that means they were very worn), placed my camera in my waterproof backpack, and climbed over the wall to escape into the madness that is Holi. […]