India

Photo Essay: Shapes and Patterns at the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur

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On my day tour of Jaipur, one of my tour mates was a man from Switzerland who’d once lived in India and had been visiting the country for decades. He had already seen all of places on our itinerary. It was clear that he couldn’t get enough of the sights of Jaipur, and throughout the […]

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Brief Encounters in Jaipur

India

A Breakfast Sales Pitch There weren’t enough salt and pepper shakers at the hotel’s breakfast. Not long after I asked a boisterous Australian man to borrow the salt and pepper, an Eastern European woman asked me to borrow them. At the time, I wasn’t sure if she wanted to use the shakers or if she […]

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Photo Essay: Candid Snapshots from Jaipur

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The tour driver motioned for me to sit in the passenger seat of the 4×4. I was ready to go when he insisted that I buckle my seatbelt. I usually put it on automatically, but after a week and a half in India, I’d gotten used to the fact that every car I sat in […]

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Enter Rajasthan

India

At 4:15 am, there wasn’t exactly the abundance of autorickshaws that the hotel receptionist had claimed there would be, but after a few moments of worry, I found one. The driver tried to take advantage of my lack of options by quoting a price that was three times what it took me to get the […]

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Photo Essay: The Taj Mahal + 5 Things You Don’t Often Hear About It

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1. You can see the Taj Mahal from the roof of many nearby hotels. Many of them have conveniently placed (overpriced) restaurants on their rooftops. I got my first glimpse of the Taj Mahal while having lunch on my hotel’s roof. 2. At the main entrance, the Taj Mahal ticket office is not next to […]

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A 20 Hour Indian Train Experience

backpacking

4:30 pm The panic I felt while stuck in mind-boggling traffic is fading. I’ve made it to the Varanasi Junction station in time for my 4:45 train to Agra. I step inside, and India assaults me full force. It seems that not a single spot in the train station is unoccupied; people are sitting and […]

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Varanasi the Incomprehensible

India

Before I went to India, I knew that I could expect to see an intense religious devotion there; the kind of faith that leads people to make pilgrimages just to plunge themselves in waters that are considered to be sacred. I also knew that I could expect layers of filth. But I hadn’t expected that […]

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A Four Day Bengali Wedding: Day 4

India

When the last day comes, you put on your red party dress and get dolled up one last time. You put on your chandelier earrings, your gold bangles, and clip a flower in your hair. You walk into the Oberoi Grand a final time. In addition to the work-required benevolence of the hotel employees, you […]

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