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India & Nepal Travelogues
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Welcome to our 2002 India and Nepal travelogues. These articles, movies and pictures detail our 2002 travel adventures across this glorious sub-continent, from the frozen mountains of Ladakh and Everest to the searing desert of Rajasthan in summer.

With over a billion people, 200 languages and dialects, 25 states, innumerable religions, sects, tribes and cultures, India is a country united in its diversity. Three months was never going to be enough. As it turned out, we spent half the time in Nepal, leaving only six weeks to try and get a flavour of India.

We hardly scratched the surface. Even before we left we were planning return trips to see more of this vast and diverse country. In some ways, though, six weeks was enough. India has so much to offer, so much variety, such rich history, but there’s no denying that it can be a hard place to travel at times.

We were daunted before we arrived. We had been warned so many times and from so many quarters about heat, poverty, dirt, touts, rip-offs and of course the seemingly unavoidable Delhi belly. The reality was easier than we had expected, though, and we felt pretty smug at first. Clearly we were seasoned travellers, and it was other, weaker people who got freaked out by India. This was of course nonsense. True, we had travelled in Asia before, and so we were a little more ready for some of the things that westerners can find difficult. Largely though, we were lucky.

We headed north to Manali almost immediately. Here at least the heat would not be a problem. High in the Himalayas, the town was buried under three feet of snow when we arrived. It was a good place to ease ourselves in to India – far more relaxed and friendly than the plains below. It wasn’t really until we got to Agra and Varanasi that we began to experience more of India’s famous negatives. It seems that Agra, having the Taj Mahal, sees no need to appeal to the visitor in any other way. Varanasi was the India we had been expecting all along – hot, smelly, crowded and dirty, but hugely exciting, atmospheric and rewarding

After a mere three weeks we hopped across the border to Nepal, and relaxed. It felt like we’d been holding our breaths all along, and only now exhaled. So we had been finding India tough, we just hadn’t really noticed. In many ways, it seems crazy to give Nepal the same amount of time as India, but then in 6 weeks you feel that you can really get to know Nepal. In a geographical sense, we saw a limited area of the country, since the bulk of our time we travelled on foot. In a cultural sense, though, we had time to absorb a lot as we trekked through the Annapurna and Everest regions.

Our first stop back in India was Ladakh, India’s northernmost tip. We were reminded in some ways of the Everest region we had just left. The people are largely Buddhist and of Tibetan origin, as are the Sherpas. The land is high and harsh, the people overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming. Really, though, Ladakh is not “like” anywhere we’ve ever been, and that probably goes some way to explaining why we liked it so much.

By the time we reached Rajasthan it was the end of April, and temperatures were in the mid-forties or higher (that’s 115°+ in old money). In the interests of sanity, we didn’t try to do too much here, especially between 11am and 3pm. Vibrant, exotic, full of palaces and poverty, Rajasthan deserves its top billing on the tourist circuit of India.

The heat quickly drove us on to Bombay, and somewhat to our surprise we loved it. For so many visitors to India, this is the starting point. It’s a pretty tough introduction and it’s unsurprising that people are shell-shocked. By the time we got there, though, we were a little more inured to the rough side of Indian urban life and we could see the good the city had to offer as well as the in your face down sides. Only when we left for South East Asia did we notice that, once again, we’d been holding our breaths.

Articles - click to enter
Picture of the Lotus temple in Delhi - India Travelogues photographs of the Himalayas - India Travelogues
Getting settled and seeing the sights in Delhi

Himalayan majesty, relaxation and skiing in Manali

Picture of a boatmand on the ghats of Varanasi - India Travelogues Photograph of Barabara near Annapurna - Nepal Travelogues
Agra and Varanasi

Trekking in Annapurna

Picture of Barbara on Chhukhung Ri, Everest - Nepal Travelogues Photograph of Thikse Monastary near Leh, Ladakh - India Travelogues
High altitude trekking in the Everest region

Ladakh may be Indian but it feels like Tibet

Picture of the lake Palace in Undaipur - India Travelouges Photograph of the Gateway to India travelogues
The magnificence of Rajasthan

Bombay - a city of contradictions