Tag: India

Jaipur

My journey overland from West Bengal to Rajasthan has been intense, exhausting, beguiling, terrifying, wonderful. As the train rolls into Jaipur I am, if truth be told, running low. Not quite recovered from my fever in Allahabad, I surrender to

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Udaipur

After departing Bundi on a rickshaw ride through sheets of wafer-bodied midges, I board a clanking train for Udaipur, a city famed as one of the most beautiful in Rajasthan. But before I reach my destination, I have a stopover

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Bundi

Pushkar is coming with me. Well, Jim and Em and Fi are coming with me, or I’m leaving Pushkar with them. It proves to be one of those great travelling days, where conversation between friends new and old drifts from

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Pushkar

Pushkar is a special place, one that will remain long in blissful memory. After an anxiety-inducing bus ride from Jaipur – featuring no less than three near-death experiences – I arrive at the lake where Brahma, it is said, once

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Kolkata Day Two

I take a taxi to Kalighat, one of Kolkata’s most sacred sites. As so often in India – as in the world – the nearer one draws to the sacred, the more likely one is to trip over the profane.

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Kolkata Day One

Kolkata, a tang of sweat and car fumes, as a prepaid taxi takes the roulette out of arriving in a new city at night. A late check-in inspires a flurry of activity at the Broadway Hotel. The place is ramshackle,

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Allahabad to Khajuraho

Travel is what happens when you’re making other plans. I knew something was amiss as I left the Anand Bhavan. Even as I forced a smile, posing for photographs with a troop of Indian Scouts, I knew a monster stalked

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Allahabad

Final morning in Varanasi. With sorrow, I bid farewell to my new friends in the guesthouse, and to that view from the legendary Room Twelve. Soon I take a final walk along the ghats, and disappear into the smoke-wreathed city.

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Varanasi

This train feels less hospitable than the last, and someone warns me to watch my bags. There seem a lot more twitching stares than smiles, and I start to see thieves everywhere. In fact, there are almost certainly nothing of

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From Calcutta to Bodh Gaya

In Calcutta, I wake to the news that my teacher and friend Roderick West has died, tearing a hole in my heart. Yet such was the man’s intellect and spirit that he always seemed eternal, so it is not so

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