3/29/2010 | India , Uttar Pradesh

A Day in Varanasi


With the exception of Delhi, which is “the Rome” of Northern India where all roads or in this case rail lines lead, Varanasi is the Indian city that I’ve been back to most often.  Ironic since it took me until my third trip to India to finally visit this most sacred Hindu […]

3/26/2010 to 3/28/2010 | Bihar , India

Back to Bodhgaya


I smiled politely on the outside but I cringed beneath the facade of my face as a couple of my fellow train compartment companions struggled to close the heavy brass bracelet I had just been given around my wrist.  Sarah looked on with amusement from the bench opposite me.  The 3 fellows […]

3/23/2010 to 3/25/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Return to Haridwar: Even more Kumbh Mela


(warning above galleries contain some nudity, not the good kind)

I didn’t expect to return to Haridwar but having been thoroughly impressed by the atmosphere surrounding the Kumbh Mela.  It was something I thought any visitor to India should see given the opportunity.  So before working our way towards Nepal, via Bodhgaya […]

3/22/2010 | Delhi , India

Sunset at Humayan’s Tomb

I’ve passed through Delhi countless times during my past few years on the Indian subcontinent.  Most of the time I use my stopovers as opportunities to fill up on nihari, kebabs, and Biryani in the maze of streets that surrounds the Jama Masjid in old Delhi.  It’s kind of a rarity when I […]

3/17/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part IX: Death of a Sadhu


As I walked along side one of the channels of the Ganges that ran through the camps on the Eastern edge of Haridwar I noticed a small group of Sadhus gathered by the river.  Some were chanting others just stood watching.  I would find out after the small crowd dispersed that what […]

3/17/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part VIII: A Sadhu Lunch


A stream a Sadhus passed by me as I sat resting in the afternoon sun, immediately curious as to where all these holy men were headed, I jumped to my feet and followed.  It turned out I had stumbled upon a lunch that was being put on for a particular Akhara (division […]

3/16/2010 to 3/17/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part VII: Life in the camps


The wide flood plain that harbors several channels of the Ganges on the eastern edge of Haridwar sprouts into a tent city during the Kumbh Mela.   Temporary Ashrams, Naga Sadhu camps, and tented accommodation for pilgrims from various states cover the barren plains in a patchwork of canvas and color.  I found […]

3/16/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part VI: Hari Ki Pauri


Hari Ki Pauri is believed to be the point at which Ganges leaves the mountains and enterers the plains of India.  It is the most revered site in Haridwar believed by Hindus to have been visited by both Siva and Vishnu.   While this revered ghat was closed to all but holy men […]

3/15/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part V: Somavati Amavasya


Until March 15, 2010 in Haridwar, despite having been to Varanasi and other sacred cities on the Ganga (Ganges) numerous times the extent of my contact with the river had been limited to washing my hands in the icy cold waters at Gomukh, the point at which the Ganges flows from the […]

3/15/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part IV: Sadhus on the march


Somavati Amavasya occurs when a new moon falls on a Monday.  On this auspiciousness day Hindus believe that a dip in a holy river will have especially good karmic results.  During a Kumbh Mela this auspiciousness is amplified.  The stream of Sadhus toward Hari Ki Pauri Ghat inching toward their sacred bath, […]

3/12/2010 to 3/15/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part III: The Sadhu Olympics

12345► (warning nudity -not the good kind)

Sadhus, Hindu holy men, are a fixture amidst the holy cities and temples of India.  Normally wondering the road between holy sites or meditating in caves up in the Himalayas, once every 3-4 years they converge on the site of the Kumbh Mela.  It is the […]

3/12/2010 to 3/15/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part II: It’s time for a bath


As the Second Royal Bath (Somvati Amavasya – Dvitya Shahi Snan) approached, the banks of the holy Ganga(Ganges) at Haridwar steadily filled with pilgrims.  In the mornings the pilgrims who had descended on Haridwar from across India would flock to the ghats, taking their morning bath in the holy river.  In the […]

3/12/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part I: Arriving in Haridwar


From Nasik I would continue my festival hopping heading North via Delhi to the mother of all Indian festivals, the Kumbh Mela, which was taking place in Haridwar.  Billed as the worlds largest religious gathering the Kumbh Mela is a bathing festival that rotates between 4 sites, Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujain.  […]

3/5/2010 | India , Maharastra

Nasik: Rang Panchami, Holi Strikes Back


I put on my already color stained hole ridden shirt which I had worn for the Holi celebration in Hyderabad.  I had saved this item that might ordinarily gone straight to the trash can for this particular day.  I placed my camera inside my dry bag backpack securing the watertight seal.  I […]

3/4/2010 | India , Maharastra


It was the festival hump day in Nasik sandwiched between yesterday’s celebration of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj birthday, and Rang Panchami the day that Maharastrans throw color for Holi.  I decided to take the opportunity to visit the nearby city of Trimbakeshwar, a pilgrimage city worshiped as the source of the Godavari River.  I […]

| India , Maharastra

A Festive Arrival to Nasik (Nashik)


As I arrived in Nasik (Nashik) it was apparent there was something going on.  There were statues set up on nearly every street corner and music was blaring at a volume that surpassed the speakers’ ability to render an undistorted sound in typical the louder the better Indian esthetic.  An esthetic that […]

2/28/2010 to 3/1/2010 | Andhra pradesh , India

Holi Hyderabad!


I had decided to stick around Hyderabad for Holi, while not the most exuberant place to celebrate Holi, I would get a chance to attend the Indian School of Business (ISB)’s Holi party with my friend Sunny.  It was being held the day before Holi since classes were being held on Holi.  […]