India: My Ideas of "Incredible India" I.
Before I travelled to India I had only uncertain idea of what I can expect from India. I imagined the India I knew from Bollywood movies as I love beautiful colorful saris, clinging bracelets, large earrings and mostly songs of Bollywood.
I wanted to see with my bare eye the famous Taj Mahal, a symbol of undying love and one of world’s seven wonders. I wanted to know how it feels like when one walks on a street together with a buffalo and cow; how it is to experience Varanasi, the city of dead, which I knew about from documentary films; to see the worshiped Ganga River and learn how Indians burry dead there . The India I imagined was also the India of its specific cuisine with yellow Kari spice they put to every meal. Its intensity determines how much your “mouth will burn”.
I started going to Bollywood dance lessons and, for a while, a thought I would compete in the„Dance India Dance” competition. Also, a beautiful Indian girl who won the Miss World competition enchanted me. Then I didn’t know her name is Aishwyryia Rai and to the Indians she is a goddess. Already as a little girl I dressed for a carnival as an Indian princes for my very first dress I got from my dad was a typical dress children wear in Afghanistan and present Punjab.
To me India was also a country of rich and powerful rulers, a country of princesses, splendid palaces of Maharajas a country where beautiful wild creatures live, such as elephants and tigers.
I also knew rickshaws ride on streets, however, I had no idea about chaos on streets. Everyone and everything stream forward and what I had seen on my bare eyes was better than I had ever expected! Not only there are lots of rickshaws, cars, people but also buffalos, cow drawn carriages. Somewhere you may even see elephants and camels. Everyone in a peculiar way move forward. Many rear-view mirrors of cars and busses are broken or are just not part of a vehicle anymore. Ears are constantly bombed by traffic noises, everyone always use horns despite they can’t move anywhere in a jam. However, horns are common means of communication among drivers. A rule of red being just another color of green seems to be valid on crossroads.
There is unbelievable chaos everywhere, mounts of trash everywhere, cow’s faeces are laying on streets and roads. Next to trash sleep and also live people, well, whole families even with their animals. The poorest of poor live on streets in their “sheds” made of corrugated sheets of metal and rags. On streets, people bargain, cook, sell, drink tea, sew and iron clothes, also hairdresser and cosmeticians do their services; people shower there and men carry out call of nature behind tile walls. You can also have there your dental hygiene or have your tooth extracted while a “doctor” uses natural anesthetics made of tree bark. There are also such people who survive plaster filling.
Hinduism believes in reincarnation of soul. To this is related the fact that the Indians don’t cling so much to life, unlike Europeans. They live more for the present, they don’t plan that much, they are live more risky life on streets and they put also lives of others at risk. Few times I felt my rickshaw driver would tip me out in some turn. People hop off and on busses, they sit on mopeds and bicycles in sandals, they try to break through heavy traffic jams, they ride with their whole families (infants included) and luggage as well. It seems as helmets could afford only people with more money. Unlike Japanese with their „Safety First“ approach, the Indian approach to safety is like to compare the Sahara Desert with Niagara Falls.
To be continued...
Text/photo: Štěpánka Rysová
During our last visit to Dhaka we ended at the edge of the city near Lalbagh Fortress located on the Buriganga River. This unfinished yet monumental 17th century fortress consists of number of buildings and statues spread in dense vegetation.
The nature reserve is huge, spreading over an area of more than 392 square kilometers, with only a section that is divided into several sections. When ordering a safari you must specify which zone to visit. Passing from one zone to another is forbidden, except for the all-day safari. But the price for this type of trip is enormous.
The wake-up call at 4.45 pm, and that's really the latest time for the wake up possible. After five, we are leaving at the reception. There is no risk of breakfast now, I wouldn't have gotten anything so soon. However, you can have tea, coffee or masala.
This time we visit zone number 6. Nafees found out in the morning that there was a good chance to watch the female T8 Ladli and her kittens. Well, they're teenagers ... Mommy probably killed sambara, so they have a feast. Although who knows, these teenagers are able to catch food alone and are pretty eaters. The tiger can eat up to 30 kg of meat in one day.
Today we return to the most beautiful area zoneto the Talao Lakes. It is about six o'clock in the morning. Unbelievable, right in front of us, the queen of arid lakes, the tigress Arrowhead, are walking down the road.
Today we try zone 4 with the cubs again this morning, but we are not so successful this time. There are no cubs here, we see only one tiger in the distance on a hillside. Of course, visiting this park is not just about tigers, we see a lot of other exotic creatures today, such as kingfisher and local squirrels.
The afternoon safari has reached roughly its middle. Maybe I already mentioned what I know now that I could take pictures better, from other angles, from different perspectives. After all, I realize on the spot that you can never really know if you really see the tiger. It always depends on the professional work of the driver and the guide and the great dose of happiness!
We have all heard of the rose city of Jaipur, India, at least once in our lives. Jaipur is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan. It attracts visitors mainly with its preserved palaces, temples, fortresses and monuments. It is not for nothing that it is called the Pink City.
Do you need to rest and recover from India's intense chaos? Embark on a quiet paradise. Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka with a newly discovered center for lovers of beaches and hippies.
Paradise in the form of atolls located in the Indian Ocean lies about 10 hours flight from the Czech Republic. If you want to escape the mundane of today and enjoy a rest in exoticism, the Maldives is a great choice. You can choose either a resort or stay in a guesthouse on one of the inhabited islands, which is a cheaper option.
India is so interesting to us that we had to simply stay there for a while more. We will visit the state of Karnataka today which is to be found in southwest Inda.
In the northwest part of Indie, a state of two Czech Republics and six times its population is set – its Gujarat. In this state, about six thousand years ago the Indus Valley Civilization along the Indus was born.
The Indian sub-continent offers many places to explore. This is one of the reasons why we stay there even this time. We take a look at another of its cities.
Kochi is the most important port in southwest India. For many centuries, it had been the center to spice trade. The city was known to Romans, Greeks, Jews, Syrians, Arabs, and Chinese.
Pakistan is a country that suffers from bad media presentation. News we read about the country are mostly informing us of terrorist attacks that, however, are off tourist areas. This presentation that suffocates other things about the country such as kind people, rich history, beautiful mountains, and divine cuisine.
The Heart of Pakistan or the Cultural Capital are probably the two most common nicknames for this huge city.
We spent New Years Eve and New Year on camels back, unusually, in the Thar Desert in Rajastan, near Pakistan border. We danced around fire in the sound of side drums together with tourists from all-around the world. We ate Indian meals with Kari, chili and sand.
What dos afflict one’s soul? Omnipresent beggars, mostly kids who are dirty and usually ill and mutilated in purpose. They try to catch you and making gestures they are hungry…
New Delhi is situated in the northern part of India and it is also the capital of the country.
A city that is located in the Indian state of Karnataka is named after the Hindu goddess Mangaladevi. Mangalore is also a very significant Indian port on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The city is lined with the River Netravati on north and Gurupura on south that flow to the Arabian Sea.
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