No matter how many times I visit India, I always get excited by the prospect of the visual and auditory chaos which awaits me. It is a beautiful country populated by beautiful people and from the minute you land you can see why so many choose to travel and explore it.
Words and Photography by Kushal Gupta | @kushal87
This trip was broken up into 2 sections. I spent the first week working on a personal project and the second week travelling with my partner and a friend across Rajasthan, the desert state of India.
Through this trip, I was accompanied by my Millican rucksack, which was stuffed with all the essentials and my trusty camera.
The journey was long; following the flight into Delhi I had to catch a local cab in order to reach my first destination. That morning the fog was incredibly thick, making for dangerous driving conditions, however, we persevered and it proved to be one of the most surreal and beautiful road trips I have ever taken.
The usually busy roads were emptied of traffic, except for a daring few like us, some commercial truckers and the odd stray animal which had wandered too far through the mist.
The whole ride felt like a lucid dream, every so often the thick blanket of fog would suddenly produce a beautiful scene, which would disappear almost as soon as you could make sense of it. I had never experienced anything like it and doubt will ever again.
After 5 long hours on the road, I finally reached my destination, just in time for the intense midday sun whose presence quickly saw the end to the fog.
The first week was spent across 2 cities along the river Yamuna. I was travelling alone and staying in houses close to the river. My day would start at 4.30, I would have my bag packed from the night before and would head out into the darkness ready for the few hours of soft light in the morning.
Much of my week was spent just shooting in the early hours and the rest catching up on sleep or sitting by the river, people watching.
At the end of the week, I met up with my travelling partners in Delhi. Getting to them involved 3 trains over 7 hours. I opted for travelling in the general class each time, as the tickets were cheap (30p for the whole trip!!) and it is by far the best way to experience the real India.
We only had a short 10 hours in Delhi, where we had a chance to see the Jamma Majid and catch the sunset at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. Both these places carry a wonderful sense of serenity and provide a respite from the noisy streets of Delhi.
We then took the train early next morning to Rajasthan, with plans to see Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
We had 2 days in each city, but rather than try and cram a lot in, we just relaxed and walked the streets of each, taking in the city sights and digesting what they had to offer. We made sure to wake up early every day and head to a sunrise spot, be it a lake, mountaintop, or even just our window, ensuring we also ended each day by scouting the best local sunset spot.
It's safe to say we succeeded in our little quest.
There are not enough words to describe the beauty of Rajasthan (India in general really) and being better with a camera rather than words, I will let the photographs do the talking! It should be on everyone's itinerary when travelling to North India.
The week ended all too fast, and as with every adventure, we were left craving more.
There is a depth to India, which cannot be explored fully in one lifetime, and it is the reason which draws people back over and over. I am one of those people, having visited the country twice in the last few months I am already planning my return.