12/31/2009 | Gujarat , India

Ambaji: Pos Purnima Festival

1234► A couple of the members of our group had made a promise to visit and perform a puja at the temple of Ambaji in Northern Gujarat, about an hour drive from Abu Road where we stayed the night.  I decided to join them on their early morning pilgrimage, while other members of […]

12/28/2009 to 12/30/2009 | India , Rajasthan

Touring Southern Rajasthan with the N.R.I.s

123► After wedding I tagged along with Vinay and a number of his cousins including the bride and groom on a short 4 day tour of Southern Rajasthan (a kind of group honeymoon).  The major places on the itinerary Udaipur and Mt. Abu I had already been, so it was more an opportunity […]

12/25/2009 to 12/27/2009 | Gujarat , India

Bhadran: A Gujarati Wedding

1234► I spent a particularly uneventful, Christmas eve and morning on a night train to the Gujarati city of Baroda (renamed Vadodara), where I was meeting Vinay, a friend of mine from the states of Gujarati descent.  Vinay’s family is from the nearby village of Bhadran, an origin which would prompt any Gujarati […]

12/21/2009 to 12/24/2009 | India

Delhi: Safdarjung’s Tomb

I return often to Delhi but more out of necessity than desire.  Delhi is the Rome of northern India all roads and rail lines seem to pass through here, and if your headed anywhere likely your going to be passing through Delhi.  Many tourist desist the city often because it is the first […]

12/16/2009 to 12/20/2009 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Return to Varanasi: again for the first time

1234► Varanasi is a place that just keeps drawing me back every time I pass through this part of Uttar Pradesh.   No doubt a combination of things draw me here, cheap comfortable accommodation at the friendly Tiwari Lodge in Assi Ghat, a couple tourist cafes with free wifi where I can rest from […]

12/13/2009 to 12/15/2009 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Ayodhya

12► Ayodhya was another place in eastern Uttar Pradesh that I had been meaning to get to and hadn’t.  I had passed through it once on a bus to Lucknow and was impressed enough by the temple lined riverfront that I decided then I should stop at some point.  That point was now, […]

12/12/2009 to 12/13/2009 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Kushinagar (Completing the Buddhist Quadfecta)

12► Having just been to Lumbini I had now been to three of the four main pilgrimage sites associated with the life of the Buddha, Lumbini (birthplace), Bodhgaya (site of his enlightenment), and Sarnath (site of his first sermon).  Only a couple hours by bus from Gorakpur the main Indian transportation hub for […]

10/10/2009 to 10/11/2009 | Nepal

Lumbini (Birthplace of the Buddha)

123► Every time I’ve left Nepal I’ve gone via Sunauli the border town with Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and only a short 17 miles from the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini.  Each time I see sign indicating the turn off for Lumbini, I think to myself I should stop there one […]

12/4/2009 to 12/5/2009 | Nepal

Everest Marathon, Politicians, and back to the “Du”

123► The day I had chosen to head back to Lukla from Deboche was an eventful day in the Khumbu.  It was the day of the Everest Marathon for those who think marathons at sea level on well maintained roads are just too easy.  The marathon follows a 26.2 mile route from Everest […]

11/29/2009 to 12/3/2009 | Nepal

Return to Gokyo

12345► Essentially being thrown unexpectedly back up into the Everest Region I wasn’t really sure what to do.  I did like the Gokyo Valley last time I was in the region (see original Gokyo post) so I had decided to return there, since there were still a few places in the valley I […]