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4 weeks in India: Traveling Across the Country – Photo Story – Part 2

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In May 2018, we went to India for the third time.

This time our plan was to go on a 9000-kilometer (5500-mile) overland journey across India using public transportation. We had come up with a route, but no reservations were made upon our arrival to the subcontinent. And now I’m ready to show you what these 4 weeks in India looked like — where did we go and what did we see in India.

Here is the second part of our India Photo Story.

To see the Part 1, click here.

See also: 4 Weeks in India – Photo Story – Part 2

Table of Contents

4 Weeks in India – Photo Story – Part 2

As I have already mentioned, we had to change our plan.

We couldn’t get all the train tickets we wanted, so we had to improvise. And so in the end our route across India looked like this: Bhubaneshwar – Kolkata – Varanasi – Delhi – Agra – Delhi – Amritsar – Jaipur – Pushkar – Jaisalmer – Ahmedabad – Mumbai – Goa. Mostly we traveled by train, a few times we took a bus and once we booked a car with a driver (for a day trip from Delhi to Taj Mahal).

Our 4 weeks in India itinerary: Bhubaneshwar – Kolkata – Varanasi – Delhi – Agra – Delhi – Amritsar – Jaipur – Pushkar – Jaisalmer – Ahmedabad – Mumbai – Goa.

Amritsar

1. Good Morning, Amritsar!

Children in a tuk-tuk Amritsar - 4 weeks in India

Late in the evening we boarded a train in Delhi.

And some 10 hours later, at around 6 AM we arrived in Amritsar. As it was this early and we knew that most probably we’ll not be allowed to check-in in our hostel, we decided to walk from the train station to the hostel. Not to take a tuk-tuk or a taxi.

Here is a photo of kids going to school.

2. Let’s Go For a Walk

A group of backpackers walking in Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

3. And More Kids Going to School

Tuk-tuk with school children in Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

4. We Left Backpacks at the Hostel and Headed for the Golden Temple

People sitting and looking at the Golden Temple in Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

The Golden Temple is a central religious place of the Sikhs.

Sikhism is one of the big religions in India.

What a peaceful place it turned out to be!

By the way, you can easily recognize a Sikh man on the street. Because they wear turbans, have a smaller or bigger knife with them all the time and they wear a steel or iron bracelet around the wrist. There are a lot of Sikhs in Amritsar.

5. A Place, Where You Feel Like You Are in a Fairy Tale

Guards at the Golden Temple Amritsar 4 Weeks in India

6. Or in a Bollywood Movie

People in Golden Temple Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

7. We Made It to the Viewing Platform Just in Time

Amritsar from above - 4 Weeks in India

You see, this is India. Colorful from up close, grey and boring from above and afar, save for those few parks here and there.

8. Taking a Photo With Local Guys

A photo with locals in Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

9. The Moment You Leave the Temple You’re Thrown Back Into Reality

Streets of Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

Which isn’t less interesting and colorful.

Only less pretty. Often, way less organised.

10. But In a Way It’s the Same Fairy Tale You Just Left

People cooking food on the streets of Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

You should have seen this scene!

We are just walking down the street. Taking photos. And then this old man notices us and runs to his pot. He wants us to show how he is making the dal curry. Wow, just wow.

11. With Lots of Smiling and Friendly People

Street vendors of Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

12. Wherever You Look

A bicycle rickshaw driver in Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

13. It’s an Early Afternoon and We Need to Hurry

A tuktuk in Amritsar 4 Weeks in India

We have “rented” a tuk-tuk to take us to the India – Pakistan border, an hour ride away from our hostel. We are going to Wagah-Attari border ceremony. It’s a very patriotic and spectacular event taking place every evening, as we have heard.

Wait… will all 8 of us have to share this one small tuk-tuk?

As it turns out – yes.

14. The Wagah Border Ceremony Starts

Women dancing at Wagah border closing ceremony in India - 4 Weeks in India

And it starts with… women dancing.

They are dancing to the rhythms of popular Indian pop songs. What? It’s something we didn’t expect to see. It’s so, so cool.

15. And Then the Soldiers Come

Soldiers marching at Wagah border closing ceremony in India - 4 Weeks in India

16. And Everyone Seems So Energized

A patriotic Indian girl - 4 Weeks in India

The ceremony is about an hour long.

Super loud music is being played almost non-stop.

So it can be tiring. But at the same time it’s definitely something worth seeing. If you are a foreigner then most probably you’ll be asked to take the separate VIP entrance, which means almost no standing in lines.

17. Here’s One of the Soldiers

Soldier at Wagah border closing ceremony - 4 Weeks in India

18. One Last Selfie in Amritsar… and We Are Off to Pushkar

Taking a selfie with a local in Amritsar - 4 Weeks in India

Pushkar

19. A Bit of Hiking Near Pushkar

Hiking near Pushkar - 4 Weeks in India

20. And Some More Hiking

Pushkar from above - 4 Weeks in India

Pushkar is down there, at the right upper side of the photo.

Pushkar lake is there, too.

21. Oh, Yes, It’s an Overloaded Truck

A huge truck in Pushkar - 4 Weeks in India

22. A Few Monkey Shots and… We Are Moving On

Monkeys in Pushkar - 4 Weeks in India

It was very hot. We were tired.

And some of us felt unwell.

So, most of the time in Pushkar we just rested.

23. Taking a Train to the Desert Town – Jaisalmer

Riding a train through the desert in India - 4 Weeks in India

Jaisalmer

24. A City With a Majestic Fort, Which Looks Like Straight Out of Fairy Tale

Jaisalmer fort - 4 Weeks in India

25. This Is How It Looks From the Fort

Jaisalmer as seen from the fort - 4 Weeks in India

26. And This Is How It Looks Up Close

Streets of Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

Impressive, huh?

Jaisalmer is a city in the far West of India, a World Heritage Site, and just a super cute place I would recommend to visit to everyone traveling to India.

27. A City With Colorful Markets

Women buying vegetables on the market in Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

28. Yep, That’s Right, Colorful Markets

Market in Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

29. And Friendly People

Man with a colorful turban in Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

30. A City Which Doesn’t Feel Like a Real Place.

Street in Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

But more like an Arabic fairy tale.

31. But the Real Reason Why We Came Here is the Thar Desert

A lake outside of Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

After a day of rest in Jaisalmer, we are heading into the Thar Desert.

32. Our Camels Are Already Waiting

A camel lying in the sand- 4 Weeks in India

33. Ready to Go

Riding camels near Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

34. In The Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert

Desert safari near Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

35. After an Hour We Arrived at Our Home for the Night

Camels resting in the desert in India - 4 Weeks in India

The desert will be our home tonight.

36. Someone Looks Tired

Camel resting - 4 Weeks in India

37. Complete Silence

Sand dunes outside Jaisalmer - 4 Weeks in India

Surreal silence after all these weeks spent traveling across India.

38. Good Night!

Jumping in the desert - 4 Weeks in India

39. Leaving the Desert

Riding camels in Thar Desert - 4 Weeks in India

There are some sand dunes as well, though, small ones.

But mostly this is how the Thar desert in India looks like.

Ahmedabad

40. Back to Big City – Ahmedabad, a Home to More Than 5 Million

A street in Ahmedabad - 4 Weeks in India

16 hours on a bus, and we have arrived to Ahmedabad.

We are here only for a 24-hour stopover, before continuing our journey to Mumbai. And it’s crazy hot on the street. Around +50 C / 122 F. Today’s plan – watch a Hindi movie in the cinema nearby. And explore the city only late in the afternoon.

41. Busy Market Road in Ahmedabad

Busy street in Ahmedabad - 4 Weeks in India

42. And Happy and Welcoming People

Man holding a glass of juice in Ahmedabad - 4 Weeks in India

43. Ahmedabad Train Station

Ahmedabad train station - 4 Weeks in India

This is how it looks at the train station in India.

In a not-so-big city of around 5 million people (in Ahmedabad). Not as bad as you probably would have imagined?

At night it becomes less pretty. And in bigger cities, like in Delhi or Kolkata, in general it’s is much more crowded and accordingly more dirty. All in all situation is improving and now, for example, in Delhi it’s significantly cleaner than it was just 2 years ago.

44. We Are Sitting on the Floor Next to These Women

People at Ahmedabad train station - 4 Weeks in India

Who wants me to take photos of them.

45. And Then These Men Asked for a Photo, Too

People sitting on the floor in the train station of Ahmedabad - 4 Weeks in India

Mumbai

46. Hi, Mumbai!

Skyscrapers in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

India or Malaysia? It’s Mumbai, India.

47. Busy Streets Like Everywhere in India

Busy street in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

48. And Beautiful Colonial Buildings (Unlike Anywhere Else in India Where We Have Been)

Beautiful building in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

49. And Some More Beautiful Colonial Buildings

Clock tower in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

It’s India’s Big Ben – The Rajabai Clock Tower.

50. And “India as Usual” Sights

Woman and a cow in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

51. And a LOT of Sugar Cane Juice Stands. A LOT of These

Sugar cane juice stand in central Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

52. Let’s Take a Local Mumbai Train

Woman on the train in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

53. The Same One, Which Also Can Be Very Packed

Local train in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

54. And Let’s Go to the Dharavi Slum

Slums in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

We miss our stop and get out one stop later.

Ok, let’s then just walk back.

This is how it looks here. It’s not the actual slum yet, but it looks like one. Dharavi is one of the largest slums in Asia. Even though it may sound like a no-go place, we have decided to go and see the places ourselves, so we know how is it there.

55. Yes, It Is Not the Tidiest of Places. However This Is the Kind of People You Meet Here!

Indians in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

56. And Now We Are Entering Dharavi.

Happy kids in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

57. Everyone Stops, Many Smile, We Feel Welcomed

Happy people in Dharavi slum Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

58. And Again, Time for a Photo!

A man and kids in Dharavi Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

59. And Again!

Two men in Dharavi Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

60. Yes, Life Is Tough for Many in Dharavi

A street in Dharavi slum Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

And this is not the ugliest street. It’s a pretty good one.

It’s clean and you can see the sky from here.

In many places you never see the sun.

And in some places the same narrow street is also where the wastewater flows.

Dharavi is the second-largest slum in Asia and and the third-largest slum in the world. It isn’t a too big of place, as its area is just over 2.1 square kilometres, but at the same time an estimated 700 000 people are calling this place their home. It’s crazy amount of people for a place of this size. Yes, life isn’t easy there. And living conditions are very harsh for many.

However, you don’t see hopelessness there.

What makes this place special is people.

Some of the friendliest and nicest people I’ve ever met.

People like you and me.

61. What’s This? It’s Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat laundry in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

Dhobi Ghat is India’s (world’s as well?) largest outdoor laundry.

This is how it looks from the outside.

We also went to look what’s inside.

62. This Is How It Looks There

Inside Dhobi Ghat laundry in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

63. This Is How the Clothes Are Being Washed and Dried

Inside Dhobi Ghat laundry in Mumbai 2 - 4 Weeks in India

64. And Here They Iron the Clothes

Inside Dhobi Ghat laundry in Mumbai 3 - 4 Weeks in India

It’s not some kind of poor people’s laundry.

It’s where apparel brands send their clothing to be washed before it goes to the shops. It’s where big hotels and hospitals wash their laundry. It’s that kind of place. Even though it may not look like one.

65. Here You See the World’s Most Expensive Private House

The most expensive private house in Mumbai - 4 Weeks in India

Yes, this 27-story skyscraper, valued at 1 billon USD and run by a staff of 600, is a private house of a wealthy Indian family.

This is Mumbai.

This is India.

Do you have questions about India?  Do not hesitate to contact us! We have spent a lot of time in India, and have traveled all across the country several times.


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