Gallery: intriguingly incomparable India
Picture India, and you are quite likely picturing Rajasthan. A land of ruined fortresses and long-abandoned palaces whose stones speak evocatively of past maharajas. A desert land where rural life is tough and little-changed over the centuries, yet vibrant and full of colour. A land whose people know how to celebrate and how to welcome strangers.
Many of those old forts and palaces have been converted into hotels, ranging from the rather special to downright luxurious. The cuisine is varied and excellent, there is music and dance wherever you go and people are friendly and keen to engage with you.
While Rajasthan is blessed with some beautiful cities, I was equally captivated by its countryside. Life is tough in many parts of this largely desert state. Families do manage to grow some crops but it is hard work, especially as many have to manage without modern machinery. We saw them ploughing their fields with oxen or buffalo, irrigating those same fields with an ox-driven waterwheel, cutting and threshing by hand, transporting the crops on a camel cart.
But wherever we stopped to take photos we got smiles and waves. People were sometimes amused by our interest but never offended by it. Where we got especially good photos we offered a few rupees in thanks, which were usually received with a smile. We got some great photos, and they got something which we hoped was of use to them in return.
For Cee’s CMMC May alphabet challenge, any word with an ‘I’, let me transport you for a brief while to the India I fell in love with. This is just a tiny sample of my favourite images from that trip!
The photos are presented chronologically, following our route. Where I have already written a full post about a destination I’ve included a link in case you’d like to see more.
A view of Amber Fort near Jaipur
Musician at Amber Fort
Sweeper at Amber Fort (one of the people I paid to pose for me)
Ganesh mosaic on a wall in Amber Fort
Locals in Khimsar
Jaisalmer Fort and the town below
Sign advertising tours for tourists in Jaisalmer
Havelis in Jaisalmer, once home to the city’s rich merchants
A Jain temple in Jaisalmer
Jain temple security guard
Musician at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
A shopkeeper painting his shop in Jodhpur
The Jain temple of Ranakpur
A visitor making an offering in the Jain temple, Ranakpur
A room in the City Palace, Udaipur
Puppets for sale in Udaipur
On City Palace Road, Udaipur
Gardeners in Sahelion Ki Bari, Udaipur, pause to pose for me
Harvester spontaneously posing for my camera (when I’d hoped to grab some candid shots!)
Using oxen to draw water to irrigate fields (I tipped this lady as I took a number of photos and also shot a short video)
Locals washing clothes in the reservoir in front of the Shiva Temple in the sprawling hill-top fort of Chittaurgarh
A Jain Temple within the fort of Chittaurgarh
Padmini Palace and Jal Mahal, Chittaurgarh
View of Bundi Palace from Nawal Sagar
I visited Rajasthan in 2015
Mike and Kellye Hefner
Intriguing, interesting and irresistible, Sarah! I’m impressed. The man with the red cape and orange turban looks like a painting by one of the masters.
Ah thank you – more ‘I’s 😀 India definitely is irresistible!
I like the striking colours, the people’s facial expressions and temple views. So many lovely photos – no favourite here 😉.
Thank you so much 😊 India is wonderful for all kinds of photography!
Thank you for the tour of my ancestors’ living place for tow centuries… 😉
Glad you enjoyed it 😊
Beautiful pictures showing the real soul of the area 🙂
Thanks so much – yes, India has real soul 😊
Love all the colors!!
Thank you Nora 😃
As someone who has never been to India, I was reading your post with great interest. Looking at your beautiful photos I can’t help but wonder if India is the most colourful place on Earth! Besides Holi, a festival that’s entirely devoted to colour, it seems that their love of colour extends to everyday life as well. Thanks for sharing and inspiring 🙂 Aiva xx
Thank you Aiva, and yes, it has to be in line for the ‘most colourful place’ award – although having recently been to Colombia I reckon that would give India a run for its money in that respect!
I love India!! Your photos are beautiful and really took me back. 😃
Thanks so much – I’m happy to have transported you back there 😊
Brilliant. Intriguing and incomparable indeed. A lovely travelogue which the Rajasthani Tourist Board should snap up immediately. You certainly made me regret that I didn’t include Rajasthan in my only visit to India (though I wouldn’t have left anything I did out, either. Apart from my hospital stay, maybe).
Aw, thank you so much Margaret 😊 But a hospital stay in India? That doesn’t sound good!
Ha! Here it is: https://southindia2007.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/sri-balaji-hospital-chennai-8th-december-2007/. I never got round to polishing my South India blog. I’m sure I shall one day. My illness, by the way, wasn’t, as you might think, ‘Delhi belly’, but I never really found out what it was.
Oh wow, that was scary for you! I’m glad you got good care and it all turned out well 🤗😘
I was terrified my travel insurance wouldn’t pay up, as I lay there. They did in fact, but my three day bill was under £30!
Nice captures Sarah!
Glad you liked Rajasthan. Have you visited the Nilgiris in South India? You should…its amazing…
Thank you Leela 😊 No, we’ve not (yet) been to that region but I remember seeing it on your blog! It certainly appeals – India is such a huge country and there are many regions I’d love to visit!
Top class photos. All of India is like this from Himalaya to Kanyakumari
Thank you 🙂 I’d love to visit the Himalaya region one day!
So much colour! Great photos Sarah!
Thank you Anna 😘
the eternal traveller
Such a colourful post. I love how you’ve captured the spirit of the people.
Thanks so much 😊 I loved photographing the people there as much as the big sights!
Fabulous images, Sarah. I can see how you were captivated by that region. Sadly, I never got to India, and never will now. But Ican travel virtually through your photos!
Thanks so much Sue – captivated is the right word! A shame you won’t get to visit, but yes, one of the joys of exploring blogs is the virtual travel experiences it gives us 😀
Very lovely pictures 📸
Thank you 😀
A great collection of I’s, Sarah, and how clever to pin it to India! I love the shot of the Jaisalmer Fort with all those textiles draped over its walls – that’s a new one for me! You’ve got some fantastic portraits too, and I particularly love the Harvester lady – such a joyful, candid moment! 🙂
Thank you Alli 😊 I was spoiled for choice when it came to ‘I’ countries – I could easily have used Italy or Iceland. But India is just so photogenic! That lady harvesting is a favourite shot of mine, although at the time I was slightly disappointed that she stopped work to pose when I’d have liked some shots of her in action 😆
I can understand why you might have hoped for a more working shot of the lady harvester, but for me, the shot you captured is so full of joy and spontaneity
it’s perfect as it is! 😊
Yes, I do really like this shot but in an ideal world I’d have captured her at work BEFORE she noticed me, and then got this shot too! I know, I’m greedy 😆
That’s the professional in you. 🙂
Perfectionist rather than professional 😀
Your photos from India are all wonderful. I love your candid photography. Although some of the majestic buildings are awesome too 😀 😀
Thank you so much Cee 😊 India is wonderful for candid shots, everyone is happy to be photographed so you don’t need to be sneaky or feel guilty! The only problem is that as soon as they see your camera they start to pose and that isn’t always what you want. I was keen to get some shots of the women in saris harvesting but as soon as we got out of the car with our cameras they stopped work and came over to say hello and pose 😀
Not been to Rajasthan…yet. But India is inexplicably captivating. There is enough to put people off, but wow once you’re hooked, you’re hooked, and just want to see more and more. After two visits we absolutely know we have unfinished business, so much more to see.
If you’re already hooked on India then I reckon Rajasthan is a must! I assume you’re back home now and adjusting to the culture shock?
Yes, got home Tuesday lunchtime. The hardest thing is daylight, surprisingly – after almost 11 weeks of twelve hour days, light wise, it feels really odd to wake up before 5am and it’s already light….and evenings are almost as odd. It’s a strange feeling and not one we’ve had before. Both days so far we’ve failed to go back to sleep and ended up with a million jobs done by 10 o’clock!!
Think of me then, heading north of the Arctic Circle next week to the land of the midnight sun! I’ve been advised to take an eye mask 😀
Are you!?! Wow, definitely look forward to hearing about that trip!
It’s the annual European Virtual Tourist meet-up 🙂
Beautiful images Sarah! I can see why this place is a favorite of yours.
Thank you Anne 😀 I’d love to go back to see more of India one day! We did go again in 2017, to Kerala, which was also a good trip, but I preferred the more chaotic atmosphere of Rajasthan. Next time maybe we’ll venture further north!