We’ve just returned from three weeks in India: mostly in Rajasthan, the desert lands of Kings, with a brief interlude for a spectacular wedding, followed by a much needed respite in Kerala, God’s own Country, as they say. Ah, India. When I close my eyes, I see it still, patterned against my eyelids, red and vibrant as if I’d stared too long into the sun.
It is difficult to express a place of such sensory excess in anything but all the senses, but we shall try in this two dimensional medium to share some of the most spectacular of moments from our time there.
First, to Delhi with its crush of color and chaos and cows, the air heavy with cumin and asafetida. A city that defies description.
From Delhi we hopped an overnight train and headed deep into Rajasthan, the desert land of Kings, to Jodhpur, the iconic blue city with its wild west abandon and majestic Mehrangarh Fort.
We were treated to traditional Rajasthani music in Jodhpur…
…learned to make masala chai, vegetable biryani and paneer curry with Rekha at Spice Paradise…
…and had the strange fortune to attend the semi-finals of the Golden Jubilee Cup (for Polo) at which his Highness the Maharaja of Jodhpur was actually in attendance!
From Jodhpur, a long drive through surprising greenery to Udaipur, with a stop at Ranakpur, the most exquisite of Jain temples.
Then to Udaipur, the city of lakes.
And our second foray into North Indian cooking, this time with Sashi.
Then on to Jaipur, the pink city, and Rajasthan’s primary center of commerce.
Followed by a brief interlude in the desert proper, to Samode, for a wedding:
Then, finally, God’s own country, Kerala.
With a trip through the backwaters,
which included a proper Keralan lunch and visit to a coconut processing factory,
and kathakali in Fort Kochi: