I returned from a month long trip to India two weeks ago. It will take me a few postings to get it all down but here’s a start…
I remember that a light would appear in the eyes of my hippie friends when they spoke of their travels to India. I was 22 years old and my imagination was sparked forever. Although I visited Nepal, Burma and Thailand, I was fearful of India, my chief concerns being health and crime.
So…when Spring Studio’s office closed in April, and I was out of a job, I saw an opportunity to follow that old dream. And luckily, my childhood friend Liz, with whom I had traveled many years before, was game to join me on the adventure.
First day we stayed in Old Delhi and visited Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, the National Crafts Museum, and went shopping for Indian clothes (I bought kurtis and balloony pants). We ate lunch at a little, packed hole-in-the-wall and sat with some young teachers who were visiting from Goa.
Auto Rickshaws are everywhere in India. The way they get through traffic is by driving really fast and honking their horns for everyone to get out of the way. Actually, everyone drives this way. The streets are a cacophony.
Next we went to Jaipur in the state of Rajastan
Took a sweet old train (pukey greenish color) with plenty of legroom and surrounded by women! We also treated ourselves to a room at a converted palace, which was pretty amazing.
Took an Uber to Albert Hall Museum, which had wonderful art from all over the country.
It was really crazy HOT. When they say it’s going to be hot in California’s Central Valley, they mean 94. That’s a full twenty degrees cooler than it was in Rajastan.
The city is known for a walled section known as Pink City. I was really into the open air markets. The scene was alive with color as women went in to do their shopping, buying saris, groceries, herbs, clothing.
And we went to the Anoki Museum of hand printing, where we saw some impressive traditional craft techniques.
Then on to Jodhpur, also in Rajastan
Meharangarh Fort hovers over the city of Jodhpur. There are converted mansions in India, which are called Havelis. We stayed at one that was a hotel, on which, the roof restaurant afforded a great view of the fort and of a girls’ school.
It was kind of enchanting. I drew the courtyard, seen below. They had displays of artifacts there as well.
Jodhpur has wonderful, colorful open air markets. I loved seeing the women sit with shop keepers to order their saris.
The markets are where it’s at.
We went to the Meharangarh Fort on the last day. It was an incredible fort and palace. We had a guide named Sanjay.
But the heat was still an issue…it was oppressive. We decided to make our way North to the cooler climate…