Incredible India – Part 2

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.

Kerala - Travellingminstrel #
Kerala – Travellingminstrel #1
Kerala - Travellingminstrel #
Kerala – Travellingminstrel #2
The backwaters or Kerala - Travellingminstrel #
The backwaters or Kerala – Travellingminstrel #3

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.

TUT and me - Travellingminstrel #
TUT and me – Travellingminstrel #4
Horse carriages - Travellingminstrel #
Horse carriages – Travellingminstrel #5
Victoria memorial - Travellingminstrel #
Victoria memorial – Travellingminstrel #6
Indian museum - Travellingminstrel #
Indian museum – Travellingminstrel #7
Dumbdumb train station - Travellingminstrel #
Dumdum train station – Travellingminstrel #8

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.

Sun set in the Sundarbans - Travellingminstrel #
Sun set in the Sundarbans – Travellingminstrel #9
Sunderbans - Travellingminstrel #
Sundarbans – Travellingminstrel #10
On an island in the Ganges - Travellingminstrel #
On an island in the Ganges – Travellingminstrel #11
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #12
Cooking -  Travellingminstrel #
Cooking – Travellingminstrel #13
Hard at work - Travellingminstrel #
Hard at work – Travellingminstrel #14
Cock fight - Travellingminstrel #
Cock fight – Travellingminstrel #15
We went crocodile hunting - Travellingminstrel #
We went crocodile hunting – Travellingminstrel #16
Tiger reserve! - Travellingminstrel #
Tiger reserve! – Travellingminstrel #17

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.

Varanassi - Travellingminstrel #
Varanasi – Travellingminstrel #18
Varanasi - Travellingminstrel #
Varanasi – Travellingminstrel #19
Burning the dead bodies - Travellingminstrel #
Burning the dead bodies – Travellingminstrel #20
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #21
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #22
Walking around the streets - Travellingminstrel #
Walking around the streets – Travellingminstrel #23
Varanassi - Travellingminstrel #
Varanasi – Travellingminstrel #24
Putting the candle in - Travellingminstrel #
Putting the candle in – Travellingminstrel #25
Looking upon the sacred river - Travellingminstrel #
Looking upon the sacred river – Travellingminstrel #26
Varanasi - Travellingminstrel #
Varanasi – Travellingminstrel #27
Me on the boat - Travellingminstrel #
Me on the boat – Travellingminstrel #28
Travellingminstrel #
Ghat – Travellingminstrel #29

Sarnath is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught Dharma and is an important pilgrimage site.

Monks - Travellingminstrel #
Monks – Travellingminstrel #30
Sarnath - Travellingminstrel #
Sarnath – Travellingminstrel #31
me and mum - Travellingminstrel #
me and mum near the Dhamekh Stupa  – Travellingminstrel #32
Monks walking round - Travellingminstrel #
Monks walking round the Dhamekh Stupa – Travellingminstrel #33
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