Amritsar to Haridwar By Train. After a long train ride, we joined the Ganga Aarti Ceremony – an ancient Hindu ritual performed at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar at sunset. “Ganga Aarti” means “prayer for the River Ganga” and is a devotional ceremony to the sacred Ganges River which is believed to be the […]

Friday 28th Dec. This morning we woke early because we had to say goodbye to the mountains and make a long car journey to Amritsar. On the way we had to contend with a large flock of sheep and mountain goats. We crossed an old bridge dating from British times and stopped at a village […]

Christmas Eve – Shimla to Garli After a six hour drive, we arrived in Garli (a small village) & went for a long walk to make sure our legs still worked. Founded about three centuries ago and situated in the Kangra Valley, Garli-Pragpur, to give it its full name, was declared India’s first national heritage […]

London-Delhi-Chandigarh After a long drive from Delhi to Chandigarh, we explored the highlights of Chandigarh. A Rock Garden. Nek Chand was once a road inspector who collected industrial and urban waste, which he turned into the most imaginative and innovative decorations. Originally started under cover in 1965 as a small garden area which he enjoyed […]

We travelled south, through the Aravalli range, a landscape of rolling hills, passing through small villages and glimpsing the flashes of the brilliant pinks and reds of shepherds’ turbans. We stopped to visit the Jain temple Chaumukha Mandir dedicated to Adinath at Ranakpur – built in the 15th century in white marble – it is […]

Chanoud is a classic Rajasthani village surrounded by farmland (chickpeas, rape seed, wheat) with a nearby salt lake – which Mum & I visited by jeep to see many birds – flamingos, pelicans & cranes. The local horses had odd ears! Dad had a cooking lesson. We stayed in a beautifully renovated palace, which had […]

First stop Jaswant Thada, a white marble cenotaph to Maharaja Sardar Singh, who died in 1899 which contains some portraits of Rathore rulers going back to the 13th century & above a lake with some interesting birds. Next on to the Mehrangarh Fort 120m above Jodhpur. Steep and winding roads climb to the front and […]

Jaipur (pink city) is the capital city of Rajasthan, founded in 1727 by Raja Jai Singh II, & replaced the hill fort of Amber, 11 kilometres away. The city was planned on a grid system by Jai Singh, who was also a highly skilled astronomer and mathematician. He also designed the observatories here and in […]

Agra is situated on a bend in the River Yamuna, and this defensive strength has proven definitive in its history. The city’s past goes back as far as 2,500 years, when the area was part of Ashoka’s Buddhist empire. It was a stronghold of the last Hindu kings of the Lodi Dynasty in the 16th […]

This is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, and one of the holiest in Hinduism. It is famed for its ‘ghats’, or giant steps leading down to the river, where pilgrims come to cleanse their souls of sin in the waters of the River Ganges or to cremate their loved ones. It is […]