S: I n d i a E x p e d i t i o n 2 0 1 2
FC: INDIA 2 0 1 2
1: DELHI | February 3-6th | "India hits the first time traveler right between the eyes; but it is love at first sight." Anonymous
2: After the 15 hour direct flight, the Leela Palace Kempinski in New Delhi was a sanctuary.
4: LUXUR Y
5: CHANDNI CHOWK MARKET | Old Delhi
6: "Travel like Ghandi, with simple clothes, open eyes and an uncluttered mind." Rick Steves
8: S p i c e M a r k e t
9: "I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything." Bill Bryson
11: THE JAMA MASJID MOSQUE | Old Delhi
12: HUMAYUN'S TOMB | Delhi
13: "Let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way." Anonymous
15: QUTUB MINAR | Delhi
18: BANJAAR TOLA TENTED CAMP| Kanha National Park
19: This photo was taken while riding on the back of an elephant from 25 ft!
20: Our private deck overlooking the Banjaar River. | Very spacious bathroom with double vanity & soaker tub! | Comfy bed with a great view. | The dirt path to our tent.
21: " The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky." Maya Angelou
24: This photo represents the diversity of wildlife at Kanha; an eagle soaring, two deer foraging, and a monkey lounging!
25: The daily safari by jeep began at 5:00 am until noon and continued in the afternoon from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. It was wonderful relaxing at the camp afterwards where we had our own butler!
29: "The Jungle Book"
32: "Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of sun-drenched elsewhere." Isabelle Eberhardt
33: The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon was our pit stop between flights 3 times during our trip. It was connected to a trendy mall where we dined at K.F.C. & McDonald's!
34: JAIPUR | February 6 -8th
35: TREE OF LIFE RESORT| Jaipur
38: Jaipur is famous for block printing fabric by hand using natural dyes.
39: Making Wool Carpets By Hand!
40: Galta Temple | Jaipur
42: "If I had known this was my last time here I would have stayed a little longer-savored it a little more." Mary Anne Radmacher Hershey
45: Interacting with wild langur monkeys was a highlight of our trip to India!
47: AMBER FORT | Jaipur
51: H i n d u T e m p l e
52: THE PALACE OF WINDS | HAWA MAHAL
55: DIPHLU RIVER LODGE | Kaziranga National Park
56: Although the lodge was modest; everything at the national park was larger than life!
58: "Adventurous travel is like a virus to many people: once they've been to some far-away destination it's often as if a switch has been flipped. They've caught the travel bug, and from that moment on they are constantly thinking about their next trip." Barry Kooijmans
62: We were lucky to spot a group of endangered Hollock Gibbons; the world's smallest ape!
64: "Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." Maya Angelou
66: The locals were preparing for a wedding in the rural village. | My new friend showed me how to shoot his handmade bow & arrow. | Exterior of a typical village house; built on stilts for monsoon season. | Interior of the single room house with woven floors! | A warm farewell from the local kids. | Weaving their own textiles beneath the house.
69: It was amazing to see such a diverse collection of wildlife up close without barriers!
75: Man & Nature Living in Harmony
76: The 3600 sq. ft. presidential suite dining room seats 8! | Huge bathroom with double vanities & steam shower. | Master bedroom suited for royalty. | Huge sunken jet tub with a wall-mounted television. | Massive living room with a great view of Ambiance Island. | The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon main foyer.
77: VARANASI: THE HOLY CITY| February 19-22nd
78: NADESAR PALACE | February 19-22nd
79: Nadesar Palace consists of 10 luxurious suites each with their own butler located on acres of manicured gardens. We were given a tour of the grounds on a horse drawn carriage once used by the Maharaja of Varanasi. The palace has hosted royalty and celebrities since 1835 such as Queen Elizabeth ll & the Dalai Lama!
80: Never before had we been treated like royalty or experienced such poverty.
82: "It's five in the morning in Varanasi, India. A gray sky turns gold at the edges as we twist through a maze of bumpy lanes. The only sounds are the squeaky wheels of our rickshaw, the shuffling of cows, as they meander along a dusty road, and the opening of windows as an ancient neighborhood stirs. The rickshaw stops and we are directed to what looks like an alley. Soon, we emerge from the shadows of the labyrinth and stand before one of the oldest and most panoramic sights known to man. The early rays of the dawn paint the Ganges River with a silvery-orange glow and infuses everything with an ethereal radiance. The temples and pale pink buildings that line the river. The weathered stone steps of the ghats. The musty row boats that bob in the water. The vermilion dots on women's foreheads. The vivid red, green, purple, and orange saris of the Indian pilgrims on their way to bathe in the sacred river at daybreak. As we take it all in, little chills slide up my spine." Bob Riel
83: THE GANGES RIVER | Varanasi
85: The river is bathed in luminous yellow light as colourful throngs of pilgrims perform their morning devotions. They pray with the belief that bathing in the waters of the sacred river would result in remission of their sins.
87: "Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel's immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad of new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way." Ralph Crawshaw
89: We released our lotus flower candles into the river while a priest chanted.
90: On our way to the burning ghat; Manikarnika where hundreds are cremated each day. | Cremation Firewood | The adorned bodies are carried to the river by relatives to be bathed in the sacred water.
91: The chief mourner sprinkles ghee; (clarified butter) on the pyre and sets it alight. The mourners stay with the body until the process is complete; about three hours. The ashes of the dead are scattered in the sacred river.
92: The Ganga Aarti is a devotional ritual that uses fire as an offering. It takes place facing the river where lamps are lit and circled around in a clockwise manner by Hindu priests, accompanied by songs in praise of Mother Ganga. We were given front row seats in a crowd of many thousands. Although we don't share the same religious belief, we felt the spirit of this holy place and were part of something larger than ourselves.
94: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain