In this post we will move further north to Kolkata, the Sunderbans, Varanasi and Sarnath. This post is around 2011-2012.
Kerala:- We came here for my second time and TUTS first and sailed on a houseboat called “Why Not” through the beautiful backwaters.
Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. We went to most of the attractions such as the botanical gardens, went on horse carriages outside the Victoria memorial and visited the Indian museum. We also had fun zooming around on the underground trains to different train stations that lead to any part of the city.
The Sundarbans is a natural region in the Bengal region including Bangladesh and Eastern India. It’s also the largest block of tidal Halophytic mangrove forest in the world and the largest reserve for Bengal tigers. The Ganges Delta is the world’s biggest delta. We came here for 3 days and spent time with the local people who have a very difficult life. The men are often killed by crocodiles or tigers whilst fishing or collecting honey, leaving many women as widows. The area is often flooded.
Varanasi (Benares) in Uttar Pradesh is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. We ahve also been to Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu which is one of the other sacred sites. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation so that’s why people from all over India bring their dead relatives here to float down the river. It is certainly the strangest place I have been.
Sarnath is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught Dharma and is an important pilgrimage site.