S: India 2009
FC: India 2009
1: The first day out in Delhi! | Our driver, Shampoo, hired a bicycle rickshaw to take us through Old Delhi. We visited a mosque and Red Fort. | View from the Delhi Bed & Breakfast
2: Our first train was to Jaipur, Rajasthan. We stayed with our first Couch Surfing hosts; Rama and his family.
3: We toured The City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Monkey Temple, & Tiger Fort.
4: On our last day in Jaipur, we watched the sunset from Tiger Fort. It was a spectacular view of the city.
5: Onto Udaipur, Rajasthan!
6: The City Palace overlooking Lake Pichola | The view from Ambrai Restaurant where we celebrated a month-a-versary over dinner.
7: Lake Palace Hotel | An evening view from the Panorama Hotel's rooftop restaurant.
8: Day trip to Kumbalgarh Fort, 80 km North of Udaipur
9: 90 km North of Udaipur, Ranakpur Temple | A Jain temple carved entirely of white marble; one of the highlights of the entire trip!
10: Goodbye Udaipur...
11: Hello Mumbai! We stayed 2 nights in Mumbai. We met new friends Amit and Rachit through Couch Surfing, spent Valentines Day at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and watched a Bollywood concert from the steps of the city library. Amit gave great advise about traveling in India and helped us with our itinerary. A short visit but one of the most memorable.
13: 10 days on the beach in the state of Goa. We stayed in the cities of Mandrem, Anjuna, & Palolem. Karen read 2 books. Riley drove a motor scooter!
14: Fort Cochin, Kerala | We saw traditional Kathakli dance & met CSers Priya & Q
15: A 7 hour bus ride took us through the mountains to Periyar Wildlife Sancturary in Kumliy, Kerala. We saw 4 wild elephants, black monkeys, white necked storks, giants squirrels, elk and wild boars. | From Kumily, we traveled further South to Amritpuri in Kollam, Kerala. 4 days at Amma's. We met with Riley's brother, Ben and his wife Sarvaga. We gave 2 hours of SEVA per day and received Darshan (hugs) from Amma. One of the most beautiful places in India, between the backwaters and The Arabian Sea.
16: Varkala, Kerala | Riley travels to the Elephant Festival and almost gets trampled, while Karen stays at the guest house to recover from a stomach bug.
17: Kanniyakumari, Tamil Nadu. 3 bodies of water meet; The Bay of Bangel, The Indian Ocean, and The Arabian Sea. The most southern tip of India.
18: Trains, planes, and auto-rickshaws!
19: Mid-March we arrived in Madurai, Tamil Nadu to visit Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple. | One of the largest temples in India. It's covered from top to bottom with multi-colored mythological figures & beautiful painted mandalas.
22: Hampi, Karnataka or "Rock City". According to Hindu mythology, Hampi was once ruled by Hamuman, the monkey god.
23: We toured many ruins, ancient temples, and shrines. | The Queen's Bath, Lotus Temple, and Vitthala temple, which housed musical pillars.
25: After Hampi, we took a 12 hour bus ride and 24 hour train to Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. | Karen & Riley got henna from a young girl who was practicing her craft. Her family hosted us in the family bedroom and watched happily. They gave us tea and vegetables; quite a memorable experience.
26: The Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradash. | "A tear on the face of eternity"
27: We awoke at 6am to get an early start for our tour of this epic Indian monument. It certainly lived up to its hype of being one of the world's most marvelous buildings.
28: Rishikesh, Uttaranchal. The furthest North we traveled in India. We spent 5 days, hiking, shopping, and relaxing. We cleansed ourselves in the River Ganges, before making our way back to Delhi, for our flight home.