Month in India: Travel to the edge of the world
🚩 This is a guest post from Sasha Tereschenko.
The desire to fly to India appeared a long time ago. India is a country of contrasts, a completely different culture, different values, and indeed my whole understanding of this country has completely turned upside down. I knew a little about India at that time, but it was just not interesting to read, I wanted to figure it out myself, what’s what, to feel everything on my own skin.
I flew for a month myself, because there was no particular desire to look for a company. Traveling alone, you are free to do whatever you want, go wherever you want and not depend on the time and some kind of schedule, which I never had in my life.
As a result, the route turned out like this:
Arriving in India and finding myself in Delhi at night, I aguel from the cold and everything that was happening around. Bonfires were burning right in the city center, around which the Indians wrapped in blankets were warming themselves. Everything I saw there resembled footage from a post-apocalyptic movie. I wanted to run. But interest prevailed over feelings and I decided to stop in the central park and relax after the flight.
I had only a small bag with me with a minimum amount of things – a zenith, a tablet, 300 bucks and a return ticket home, and I wanted to fly back after the first 3-4 hours of walking around Delhi at night.
I didn’t have to hang out myself for long, on the second day I met a guy named Yasha who has been living in India for 5 years. He went to the festival Kumbha Mela and I sat on his tail.
Together with him we got to Allahabad, where the festival itself took place, and I still cannot understand its scale, these are millions of people (and I’m not exaggerating), hundreds of kilometers of territory, sparkling at night with bright lights, brushed off to Las Vegas. I stayed there for five whole days, living with the family of a friend of Yasha’s in a separate camp.
The entire territory was divided into sectors, they, in turn, into quarters, and so on to individual camps, where there were elders who issued passes. In general I hung out on territory camp in a tent with shit baba (saints). Day and night they smoked “chill” – a pipe stuffed with hashish and from time to time they went to visit other camps, where they organized mini-concerts playing music. There I didn’t bother about food, Yasha and I went to every day drawdowns (food presented to Shiva), we called them “restikas.” It was free, tasty and wanted to try everything.
On the third day I got to the ceremony purification of karma. It turns out splashing in the filthy river Ganges I was cleansed of all my past sins. The people there are very friendly and generous – when I was returning to the camp, an absolutely unfamiliar shivait treated me with some green “thing”, after which everything around swam and became much more fun. I still don’t know what it was.
On the way to Varanasi, I met four cheerful American women who kept me company until the end of my journey. Because of the festival Kumbha Mela, there were no vacant rooms in guest houses therefore we took a “suite” on the rooftop in the open air for only a dollar a day. The entire guest house was packed with hipars, who arrived at movement Rainbow gathering, day on and off rushed music, songs, dances in general full of fun under the aromas of hash.
We were not alone on the roof. I woke up not only from the bright sun, but also from the fact that monkeys climbed over me. We always had a pink bamboo stick at hand, which sometimes had to drive away these petty thieves. In the afternoon I walked along the muddy embankment of the Ganges. Dead monkeys, dogs and human remains floated down the river. For locals, this is a familiar picture, they calmly bathed and washed in dirty waters, as they consider the river sacred.
Three days later, my friends and I went to Bodh Gaya, town, where enlightenment descended on the Buddha. In order to save money, we five of us settled in one room with a huge bed. Despite the that, that the town is small, there are many different Buddhist temples. In one of them, I hung out two days, helping the monks, tying knots on ropes, which are distributed for good luck.
Then we were waiting for 36 hellish hours, on the way to Hampi. We rode in a common carriage, where there was no limit of people. Each stop was unpredictable, there could be twice as many people or a little less. I had to sleep on the floor right in the aisle. So we made it to Vijayawada station, where we decided to rest and take the next train in the direction of Hampi, as we rode with hares.
For all the time while traveled in the shared fund, I have never met controllers, but healthy pumped up transvestites in dresses were almost not on every train. They simply piled themselves into a carriage and knocked money off people. It was necessary to give 10 rupees so that they did not rub against you and did not flirt (they, of course, do not climb to foreigners, but they could shake in front of Indians and “chich”). But it all amused me a lot. Sitting on another train, we went straight to & nbsp; Hospet, and from there we already took a rickshaw to Humpy.
New city, new guest house. The first one who met us it was Alex, a guy from London, who knew a couple of phrases in Russian from two guys from Slavutych. I met them a little later, as well as with the rest of the gang living there. Throwing my clothes, I immediately went for a walk, crossed a small but fast river and headed straight to the ancient ruins of temples that were lost in the wild jungle and were located on huge territory.
After spending the sunset in one of the temples, I went back to the crossing, which turned out to be closed. Having tried to move her to ford and almost drowning documents and things, I decided not to risk it. As a result, having bought water and nishtyachkov, went back to the temple in the rock. I didn’t know what to do and where to go, but this was my last secluded place, where I spent the night, and returned back in the morning. Renting a moped in Hampi costs little, and there are so many beautiful and interesting – lakes, mini-waterfalls, temples and sunsets in amazing places.
Then our whole party with Humpy moved to the ocean shore, to Gokarna, where we spent the night on the beach for a couple of days, where I met Russian guys and hung out with them at the wonderful place “Triple House”. The place was a ledge on a cliff, its own private beach, and two huge trees giving shade, I was very lucky, because it is often occupied. Perfect location.
There were 4 days before the plane and I had an intensive road to Delhi, through Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra. During the day I walked in these cities, and at night I drove. It was not difficult to get to Mumbai, but it was not so easy to get out, I got confused in all its stations and the train I needed almost missed. Most of all I liked to ride in the subway, these are overground trains where a crowd of people is packed and you, in the literal sense of the word, go hanging from the train. Every time a new train was driving towards us, I was afraid that my foreheads would collide with other people hanging from it.
In Jaipur, I ended up early in the morning and walked around all its attractions, some kind of man gave me a ride on a moped to a temple 7 km from the city, just like that, he was the owner of one of guest houses and how it turned out, & nbsp ; loved to help people. In the evening I came to the station and found out that my train was already at 2.15 am and I had to wait for it for a long time. I was tired and really wanted to sleep, then I realized that in India it is worth living like Hindus and lay down on a bench covered with a blanket.
I woke up at 2:10 and almost missed the train, which was already going to set off, in the car there was simply no squeeze through, and I really wanted to sleep. So I decided to throw the hammock between the shelves and slept peacefully until Agra.
Actually, I went to Agra only because I was told “you must visit Taj Mahal”, but as for me this place is non-don’t and crowded, but it cost as much as 700 rupees, at that time it was almost all my money.
The train brought me to Delhi late in the evening, and my plane was at three in the morning and I decided to wait for the plane at the airport, this is the only place in Delhi that gave me confidence.
So my month in India flew by. At first it seemed to me that I went too far with tickets for a month, but in the end I realized that three months would not be enough for me. There are still so many interesting places, in which I still hope to get.