India

The Toy-Train of Darjeeling

Posted by on 6:00 am in Asia, India, Spotlight | 0 comments

The Toy-Train of Darjeeling

For the kid in me… The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the 1st that I sat on. It’s called the Toy-Train. They are also called Mountain Railways, and there are 5 such Mountain Railways in India – Kalka-Shimla Railway [Himachal Pradesh], Darjeeling Himalayan Railway [WestBengal], Nilgiri Mountain Railway [TamilNadu], Matheran Hill Railway [Maharashtra] & Kangra Valley Railway [Himachal Pradesh]. These trains were built during the nineteenth and early twentieth century and are now operated by Indian Railways. The Train route covers...

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Carcass – The Thar Desert, India

Posted by on 6:00 am in Asia, India, Spotlight | 0 comments

Carcass – The Thar Desert, India

The Desert is a great leveler The Desert provides. The Desert consumes. And you do not get to decide this. The Desert decides. I photographed this Buffalo carcass on my 4th day of my trek across The Thar Desert, Jaisalmer, India with the Youth Hostel Association of India [YHAI] back in December 2014. I had set to cross the entire Thar Desert on foot. The 40km trek was divided between 5 camps. Our Base camp was at the Border Home Guards. Low flying aircrafts and Indian Army personnel were a common scene here. It was an honour to share space...

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The Sleeping Buddha – Nepal

Posted by on 6:00 am in India, ITKT Staff Writers, Nepal, Spotlight | 0 comments

The Sleeping Buddha – Nepal

Amazing things happen when Men and Mountains meet. I had trekked to Sandakphu, West Bengal, India [12000 feet] with Youth Hostel Association of India [YHAI]. More than the climb I was fascinated about the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga under Full-moon light. 25th December, 2015 was supposed to be the Full-moon night. I had selected the Trek batch dates in a way to be on Sandakphu top on the 25th. The range is most commonly known as the “Sleeping Buddha” as it looks like the same in imagination of religious people of India. This range consists of...

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Sunrise in Nepal

Posted by on 6:00 am in India, ITKT Blogs, Nepal, Spotlight | 2 comments

Sunrise in Nepal

Mountains know no boundaries. I took this picture at Tumling, Nepal while on a trek to Sandakphu, West Bengal last December with Youth Hostel Associations of India [YHAI]. The beauty of Sandakphu trek was that I constantly moved between India and Nepal. Mountains do not ask for a passport. They just ask for free-will and some guts. Tumling, Nepal was my second camp during the trek. I reached there around 15:00 hours and it was pleasingly cold then. The camp leader informed me about the small hill behind our rooms from where the Sunrise was...

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The Art of Vanilla Pollination

Posted by on 8:59 am in India, Spotlight | 0 comments

The Art of Vanilla Pollination

Vanilla Pollination in India India’s Human Hummingbird Last year in April, I was scouting for places to volunteer for coffee (berry) picking, but I was told that coffee harvesting ends by February and that it would be time for vanilla pollination in March and April. Out of the ten odd places I had enquired for volunteering, only Sujata Goel from The Rainforest Retreat responded promptly. Well, I just read ‘vanilla’ and screamed ‘yes’ over email. She had looked up the links in my signature in the email and asked me if I could...

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Sunrise on the Holy Ganges

Posted by on 9:57 pm in India, Spotlight | 1 comment

Sunrise on the Holy Ganges

Along the Ganges River The Holy Ganges The sun seemingly rose out of and above the holy Ganges river until it hung large and low in the sky, glittering and reflecting long, yellow strands on the water and casting a mellow, dewy glow over the the ghats. The misty morning air filled with the aroma of sandalwood and jasmine flowers as the ghats erupted into a riot of colour and activity. Varanasi, also called Kashi (city of life), is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a holy city for Hindus and pilgrims who come...

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Insight Vacations Lower Prices on India and Nepal Tours

Posted by on 9:30 am in Announcements, India, Nepal | 0 comments

Insight Vacations Lower Prices on India and Nepal Tours

Insight Vacations has announced it will be lowering prices up to $1,280 per person on its range of India & Nepal premium and luxury escorted journeys. Insight Vacations’ inaugural India & Nepal program was launched in December 2011 and consists of two luxury Gold tours and four Premium escorted tours across Rajasthan, Kerala and Nepal, all of which will receive major price drops.  The program also features six optional extensions including Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, which will remain at the same great value prices. Insight Vacations...

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Geringer Global Debuts 14-Day Trip During India’s Hemis Festival

Posted by on 9:45 am in Announcements, India | 0 comments

Geringer Global Debuts 14-Day Trip During India’s Hemis Festival

(Westport, CT, February 2012) – Geringer Global Travel has debuted a 14-day itinerary to the mountainous region of Ladakh. Situated in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashimir, Ladakh is home to one of the last undisturbed Tantric Buddhist populations on earth. With stays in Delhi, Leh, Uletokpo/Alchi, Nubra, and Agra, guests will get a glimpse of Ladakh’s rich culture and tradition visiting famous Buddhist monasteries, gompas and palaces. This itinerary is scheduled to depart from the US on Thursday, June 21 and return on Wednesday, July 4,...

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Experience Authentic Home Stays in North India

Posted by on 9:30 am in Announcements, India | 0 comments

Experience Authentic Home Stays in North India

(Westport, CT, October 18, 2011) – Geringer Global Travel is offering a fully customizable and authentic trip to India, combining local family home stays with accommodations at charming bed and breakfasts and intimate boutique properties in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. In a home away from home, guests will enjoy the warm hospitality of Indian families, immerse themselves in local knowledge, indulge in rich, home cooked regional cuisines, and visit India’s most fascinating sights. This suggested 11-day...

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Experience India’s Sufi Music Festival with Greaves Tours

Posted by on 2:00 pm in Announcements, India | 0 comments

Experience India’s Sufi Music Festival with Greaves Tours

(CHICAGO, IL, October 12, 2011) – In celebration of the captivating music, dance and poetry of the Sufi culture, Greaves Tours LLC (www.greavesindia.com) is presenting the Nagaur Sufi Music Festival itinerary to India. This six-day group tour is limited to 20 people and will take place February 15 – 20, 2012.  The Nagaur Sufi Music Festival tour is priced from US$2,699 per person, based on double occupancy. “Experiencing the Nagaur Sufi Music Festival allows travelers to enrich their soul, move to the rhythms, and be inspired by the...

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Beggars: Every Traveler’s Dilemma

Posted by on 4:18 am in India, Spotlight | 7 comments

Beggars: Every Traveler’s Dilemma

Across Asia, the African continent, and Central and South America are children holding out their hands for coins. Travelers and expats encounter beggars in every corner of the globe. Whether you have become so accustomed to beggars that you don’t notice them anymore, or you were recently accosted for the first time and felt sick to your stomach, facing poor people on a daily basis is a reality in many developing countries. In many tourist and backpacker hotspots, there is a general belief that Caucasian foreign visitors must be rich. For this...

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Smells in Bombay’s Local Train

Posted by on 9:41 am in India, ITKT Blogs | 4 comments

Smells in Bombay’s Local Train

In the stations and compartments of Bombay’s local train, there is a new smell offered up every second.  These smells range from tantalizing to nauseating: one will make your mouth water, and the next will make you gag. One businessman stands on the platform and has his shoes shined. He smells of slick coconut hair oil. The rag that is being brushed across his leather shoes smells of dirty, staining black oil. The man sitting and doing the work smells of salty sweat and unwashed undershirts. Inside the compartment, a baby nestles...

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Atma: The Soul of Mumbai’s Educational NGOs

Posted by on 7:29 pm in India, ITKT Blogs | 1 comment

Atma: The Soul of Mumbai’s Educational NGOs

As I anxiously await the processing of my next Indian visa, I dream about the job I’m going to do when I get back to Mumbai. I volunteered with Atma Education Trust for three months before being invited on board to work with the NGO. Though I’ve done volunteer work all over the country, working with Atma was by far the most worthwhile and fulfilling experience I have ever had. Atma began when founder Lee Bolding realized that there were over 60,000 NGOs in Mumbai and still an overwhelming number of social problems. Her goal was...

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Not to be Missed in Mumbai: 10 Must Do’s

Posted by on 1:02 pm in India, ITKT Blogs | 3 comments

Not to be Missed in Mumbai: 10 Must Do’s

Having spent many months running all over Mumbai, day and night, I can confidently recommend the following 10 places, activities and experiences. No matter how long you’re in the city, do your best to enjoy a well-rounded visit: you will be blown away! In no particular order: 1. Dress up and dine out in Bandra Many of Mumbai’s most fabulous international restaurants are located in the suburb of Bandra. Head out to enjoy Italian, Thai or any other cuisine, and you might get lucky and spot a celebrity at one of Bandra’s hot...

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Between Vancouver and Mumbai

Posted by on 11:45 am in India, ITKT Blogs | 2 comments

Between Vancouver and Mumbai

As I’m currently in a space living between Vancouver and Mumbai, I can’t help but imagine and invent the differences between peoples’ lives in each place. Today in Vancouver, it’s sunny and 14 degrees outside. Some leaves lie crunchy on sidewalks; others that had fallen a longer time ago are reduced to paste, mixed with rain. Ground into cement by shoes and the elements, like a paste of cilantro, green chillies and garlic ground into a board by a woman’s marble rolling pin. The person whose shoes helped crush the...

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