Travel to India

Travel to India

India - a country that will force you to leave the comfort zone, make you feel more alive than you have ever been. A country where you may not like the ATM, and at McDonalds you will be offered to eat Maharaja Mak ...

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Something like this is preceded by a British photographer Michal Huniewicz about his trip to India. Sometimes in his descriptions can be traced panic, sometimes delight, and sometimes these feelings just mix up. Remembering my short trip to India, I understand that the same thing was with me ... and in the rest, far from dry, love for this amazing country:

01. Welcome to India

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02. Bus ride
Riding a bus is very cheap, but they are often crowded, or in poor condition. On the other hand, even if it is completely full, Indians can always make room and find a place for another person, don't worry about that.

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03. Indian Wedding

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04. Any guidebook will tell you that India is a country of many paradoxes. You see modern buildings and equipment, and in a minute someone offers you handmade tea in a clay cup - the method of making these cups has not changed for thousands of years.

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05In this photo, two girls living in one of the slums of Delhi, near the station Kirti Nagar.
Of the 14 million people living in Delhi, 4 million live in slums.

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06. Puppeteer
But even the poor here are having fun and smiling. This guy entertains the viewers in the slums of Kathputli, in Delhi. This calm-looking place is in the center of the most disturbing neighborhoods that I have ever seen or breathed in, for each of my senses it was an impressive experience.

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07. The Ganges (or Ganga) is the second largest river in the world, and its basin is the most densely populated. From a spiritual point of view, it is one of the main shrines for Hindus, in Hinduism, it is worshiped as a goddess.
Unfortunately, the Ganges is also one of the five most polluted rivers in the world.

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08. Girls in Varanasi, on the other side of the river.

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09. Sunrise in Varanasi

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10. In the Ganges, Indians wash, brush their teeth, bathe, wash, dump waste, ashes and the remains of burned corpses here.

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14. Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple in Varanasi. One of the many temples built throughout India by the Birla family.

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15. Street food.
Before going to India, I was warned not to buy food on the streets. We all paranoidly performed many hygienic procedures with the help of different means, such as antibacterial soap, and much more.We brushed our teeth with mineral water, drank strong alcohol, slept, wrapped in silk fabric, and in no case tried not to touch the mouth with our hands.
One of us eventually fell ill. We decided that he was dying, and that we should leave him in Varanasi, where he would be burned along with the rest of the bodies ... But he miraculously survived ...
Of course, not all food in India is street food. Most food is cooked in kitchens, and usually it is the cleanest place in the house.

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16. Red Fort, Agra.

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18. Unpleasant meeting
This happened in one of the slums of Delhi. At some point, the atmosphere grew hot. Someone threw a few stones at us, someone splashed liquid, no one smiled, and they said that we had better leave.

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19. Pleasant meeting
The Indian people belong to at least four different racial groups. They speak 325 different languages ​​(15 of which are official, including English), and they practice seven religions ...

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20. Sacred cows on the highway.

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21. A man cooks meat in Jaipur.

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23. The girl in the photo covers her face not for religious reasons, but to protect herself from dust and dirt.

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24. Wedding procession.

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26. Indian School.
This is a small school in Abkhaneri (Rajasthan).The children did not speak English, but when my friend wrote the names of the days of the week on the blackboard, they began to sing a song that listed these days.
By the way, before going to India I read in one of the guides that I would definitely come across children who would want to practice English. And it really happened! One of the boys asked to clarify to him the meaning of one mysterious English word: gotta (should).

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27. The point on the forehead of a woman is called Bindi and means ... a little. It’s not even necessary that she is Indian. Widows should not wear this, that's all. I used to think that only a married woman can see a bindi, but I was wrong.
(Bindi in Hinduism is a sign of the truth, the so-called "third eye". Traditionally, bindi are worn only by married women. Although today bindi is a stylish adornment that every girl can try on. The interest of hippies and techno-movements to India has led Bindi to Europe and America, where it has turned from a spiritual symbol into a fashionable detail. Here you can see the bindi on the rave scene, in the USA they have already turned into a massive decoration of various shapes and colors - note valse-boston / Wikipedia /)

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28A woman digs in the trash in Jaipur, surrounded by pigs and cows. She extended her hand to me, asking for money.
It is curious that many here refuse to take money for nothing. They are trying to sell you something, but they will not take money just like that, not wanting to become beggars.
By the way, I thought that there were wild boars next to the woman, and I was very scared. And they were just hairy pigs ... Local fun amused my fear.

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29. If you are a foreigner in India, you can see more of India than the local citizens themselves. You have more freedom to move. People around are good and friendly, and almost everywhere and always you will be welcomed with a smile.
I felt much more natural and calm than in the Arab countries that I recently visited, where many men looked at me as if they would prefer to see me with a hole in my head.
With a foreign passport you are unlikely to have any restrictions in India, especially if you have white skin. Pretty sad to understand this ... But useful.

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30. Traffic on Indian roads is absolutely crazy. Too many people and too much transport, and all the honking all the time.All the time! Their beeps mean: look around, I'm going, be careful, get out of my way, I'll overtake you, yes, my car is bigger than yours ... More than 130,000 people die as a result of an accident every year! But, on the other hand, it is only 11 per 100 thousand inhabitants (for example, in Egypt it is 42 per 100 thousand)

Rule number 1: a big car gets priority.
Rule number 2: obviously more expensive car gets priority, even if it is smaller in size.
Rule number 3: the cow always gets priority.

Every Indian will slow down to miss a cow, but not everyone will miss a pedestrian! The markings and traffic lights are only approximate instructions for drivers, nothing more.
India is a safe country, nobody has persecuted and threatened me and my friends ... but the roads, the roads ...

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31. In the Karni Mata Temple in the city of Deshnok, known as the "Temple of the Rats"

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32. Karni Mata - Hindu saint and politician. Considered the embodiment of goddess Durga
Rats in the temple are considered sacred animals. There are more than 20 thousand black rats. If you accidentally step on one of them and kill it, you will need to replace it with the same of pure gold.
There are also white rats, but not many. If you see this - it is good luck.
In the temple a young man approached me and said: "I have double luck today - I saw a white rat, and a white man!"

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33. In a workshop in Jaipur.
I remember how a polite young man approached me and asked: "Excuse me, I do not want to embarrass you, but your fair skin is so beautiful, and my dark skin is so rough. How do you do it, what kind of cosmetics do you use?" My jaw dropped, and I was silent for a while. "... You don't embarrass me," I said to him confused, and assured him that his skin was more than beautiful.

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34. Regardless of where you go, while you stay in the city, around you always, like vultures, rickshaws circle. Although the trip on them is not too fast and not very safe, with their help you can get to where the ordinary car does not pass.
You are offered a price that is at least twice as high as the real one, but if you have enough time and patience, you can seriously reduce it by bargaining. Once in Delhi, I organized a small auction among competing drivers.

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36. This guy did not want to leave. He vowed to protect me from "aggressive monkeys that bit terribly the British tourist the day before," but I told him for the millionth time that I didn’t need help.I could protect myself - I had a cookie with which I could easily bribe any monkey here. In the end, he demanded money, which I refused to give him ...

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37. This photo illustrates the life of an Indian woman. There are no such professions in India that women could not engage in: they work as miners, in quarries, on construction sites and farms. As a rule, they are paid less than men for the same job, and it is not uncommon when a woman works during pregnancy or child care.

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38. Fort Mehrangarh is a fortification on the high cliffs of Marwar, towering over the city of Jodhpur.

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39. I am happy to inform you that this is the largest and best temple in the world.

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40. The Untouchables - lower status, people outside the Indian caste system. They make up about 16% of society. More recently, the Untouchables were obliged to wear bells, demonstrating the "impure" presence around them.

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41. This girl is from the Untouchables. I met her near the temple and asked her to pose for a photo. She refused to enter the area surrounding the temple. I could not understand why, until a passer-by explained to me that she was not allowed to approach the temple because of her low status. She just sat in the garden outside, resting before returning to her black work.No sign of rebellion, she just accepted her fate.
Even today, in rural areas, there are cases when untouchables are killed simply for disobedience and violation of customs.

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43. Varanasi.
Amazing fact: there are dolphins in the Ganges. It's hard to believe, knowing how polluted this river is.

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44. Pier of Fire
Here ritual burning of corpses takes place, and the ash is in the Ganges. This method of burial is desirable and honorable for most Indians.

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45. In India you will never be alone - other people here are always very close to you. At first it is a bit overwhelming, but after a while everyone gets used to it.
In this photo, a child in the city of Abkhaneri.

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46. ​​In the Middle East, I had to ask people to pose for a photo, and they almost always refused. In India, on the contrary, it was necessary to ask people not to pose, not to take special poses when they saw me with a camera. People in India love being photographed!
In this photo, the family is in a tent in the slums of Jaipur.

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47. India can be considered as a third world country, but one should not forget that the middle class here is usually much more prosperous than in the West.

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48A girl named Krishna is talking to my friend. Her English is very good. It turns out that many Indians speak English with each other - it has become the main language for educated people here.
Although many speak to foreigners in strange forms of English, which I often could not understand (or even recognize English in it). Heavy Indian accent and intonation, strange words and pronunciation that vary in different parts of India. In addition, there are words pronounced in a Spanish-shaped manner, with an “e” in front of them: estrait (street) or eskool (school). Some grammatical forms and words are archaic, while others mean something completely different than they should.

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49. Lotus Temple
Interestingly, if you learn to speak a little Hindi, you will be able to communicate with the locals more naturally, and they will like it - because you have made efforts for this. Now you can get better prices and break the ice in communication, it will be easier for you.
But if you want to solve a serious question, it seems that it is better to use English - it is still perceived in India as the language of power.

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  • Travel to India

    Travel to India

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    Travel to India

    Travel to India

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    Travel to India