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Charms of India

Tales from Rajasthan

[Tripper: Paola]
ITPensiero LiberoRajasthan

Love India or hate it, they say.
Returning from our first time in India, I can say that our experience hasn't been all that polarizing. It is certainly difficult to love at first sight a world so different from the one we are used to, but at the same time, I think it is not possible to hate it without giving it a chance.

I colori dell'India

The colors of India

Strade indiane

Indian streets

The cultural challenges that India poses undoubtedly require a great mental openness and invite, at every opportunity, to look at the world from a different point of view.
The first thing that catches your attention are the streets, where literally everything goes.
Traffic in India is for Indians, so our first advice is to rely on a service of local drivers.
Driving on Indian roads, whether large or small, means navigating traffic at a thousand speeds, made up of cars and trucks, even quietly in the opposite direction, a myriad of motorbikes on which up to five people travel and tuc tuc , on which up to twenty people travel.
Everyone blows the horn with ease and with such a high frequency that one wonders if it still makes sense.
And then there are the carts pulled by dromedaries and barefoot people, pilgrims dressed in orange carrying skins of water from one temple to another, and animals, many animals: the inevitable sacred cows (those with a humpback) and also the non-sacred ones, bison, stray dogs, sheep and goats, iguanas and monkeys, some wild boar.
It seems that India, with a billion and a half inhabitants, is all on its way.

When you come to India for the first time, you have to tame your eyesight.
The first few days, everything strikes your senses: the question of cleanliness leaps and bounds between eyes and mind.
Along the streets of the villages, dust and waste mix, due to carelessness, difficulty, culture or another multitude of factors that are difficult to understand because India still remains the country that boasts one of the largest photovoltaic systems in the world, he writes software for companies on half the planet, goes to the moon and makes the atomic bomb, so simply decoding it into backwardness is not possible. India is the land of contrasts.
It is also the land of 30 million gods, where monkeys and mice are worshiped and the elephant god Ganesh is asked to bring good luck in every endeavor. It is the country where every new car that leaves the dealership is blessed, taking it to special temples to be sprinkled with flowers.
In India, devotion trumps all other matters.
And then there are the castes that shape social dynamics. The reforms undertaken and the opening up of the Indian metropolises to international influences are slowly changing things, but traditions and divisions resist in the villages, whereby the caste is inherited by birth and one gets married within the caste, with arranged marriages to have a greater chance successfull.
Brahmins, Warriors, Traders and Artisans are the main castes, divided into many sub-castes.
Outside any hierarchy, on the margins of the Indian world, there are the Untouchables, excluded from many social and economic activities. Passing through the villages you notice them: the women wrapped in yellow and orange saris, the barefoot men sweeping the streets with straw brooms, in clouds of dust, among patches of sacred dung and puddles of muddy water. They are images that you have to get used to.
And then there are the colors and the scents: the gaudy saris and the festive temples of a cheerful religion that feeds on hope and not on sin: they are the colors of optimism and vitality, of giant statues in temples full of flowers and flags , to make you think of an amusement park. They are the colors of the sand that turns yellow in Jaisalmer, pink in Jaipur, red in Bikaner. They are the colors of the spices that perfume the air with curry, saffron and cardamom and of the bazaars where mountains of bananas and mangoes the size of watermelons are sold, on rickety carts or directly on the ground.
India cannot be summed up in an account of the first time, perhaps it cannot be told at all, it is simply to go and see.
So let's get into the merits of our tour, to offer you inspiration if you are planning your first trip to India.
India extends from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the rain forests of the south, counting 28 different states, and we, traveling in the monsoon period, have designed a 10-day stage tour in Rajasthan, the state with most of the territory covered by deserts and therefore tends to be drier. We then added Agra, in Uttar Pradesh for the inevitable visit to the Taj Mahal. Our program starts and ends in Delhi, home to the most convenient international airport for visiting the north of the country.
We stayed overnight in various cities, making a circular tour that took us to the Thar desert on the border with Pakistan. The distances between the various stages are quite demanding but it is possible to stop along the way to appreciate points of interest and regenerate a bit.
Discover our tour in Rajasthan by stages by reading the following articles: what there is to see, tips and advice to experience smoothly in India for the first time

In addition to the tourist attractions, to travel in total serenity it is always good to have practical advice on which to rely. We leave you the report of our experience on:

Happy reading and happy travelling!

[Note] The articles will be made available a little at a time, come back to find out more.

Donne con i sari nell

Women in saris in the water of the monkey temple

Tempio indiano

Indian temple

Donne durante una processione

Women in a procession

Un bazar