Adventure Travel Blogging

Varanasi: "Blindingly colorful and unrelentingly chaotic"

Varanasi: "Blindingly colorful and unrelentingly chaotic"
  Let me start with the most visceral sight on my first visit to Varanasi: While floating on a boat down the mother Ganga River in the early light of dawn, in the smoky haze of fire and smoke from funeral pyres on shore, a dog was chewing on the bone of a human skull. What life did this skull contain? Who was the person among the masses of Hindus who come here, one of the holist places in India, to be cremated or otherwise to wash away their sins? Perhaps he was the Indian army soldier who fought in the Bangladesh war who came here seeking penance and reparation for those he had killed in his life. Did he come here, like thousands upon thousands of refugees we saw searching for peace of mind? The streets, river banks and funeral ghats are crowded with pilgrims from all over the...
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Tiger Lodges in India

Tiger Lodges in India
At Kanha National Park, the Banjaar Tola Luxury Tent camp deck overlooks the river and forest below.  While there are many places to stay around Kanha and Bandavgarh National Parks, there are only a few that I would recommend. For luxury there are the & Beyond properties where I stayed when I was there in 2008 and they are spectacular lodges and tent camps.  Banjar Tola Camp  in Kanha features huge canvas tents hoisted high and stretched wide by massive ropes creating a vast open bedroom and double sink bathroom with a wide curving deck overlooking the river and the forest of the park.  Mahua Kothi Luxury Camp  is equally fabulous with 12 spacious suites designed as luxurious jungle huts connected by sinuous pathways through the forest leading to the spa, pool, and open dining hall looking out to a meadow.    Amit Sankhala, Managing Director of Kanha and Bandavgarh...
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Tigers of Kanha and Bandavgarh

Tigers of Kanha and Bandavgarh
Leaving the unorganized chaos of Delhi behind we sought the peace and quiet of the jungle, and the anticipation of spending 6 days on 8 safari game drives in search of the Bengal tiger. It takes 5 hours drive from the Jabalpur airport to get to Kanha National Park and our accommodations at the Kanha Jungle Lodge, but here the sounds are squawking parrots, barking deer, and monkeys rattling the tree branches . Every morning at 6:15 AM we pass through the gates, returning by 10:30 after a bush breakfast in the field, then back into the park at 2:45 until we must exit by 5:45 dusk. We try not to be too "tiger centric" but the anticipation of driving through carnivore territory, hearing the alarm calls of monkey and deer, knowing that Bengal tigers and leopards are lurking in the tall grass and bamboo thickets watching us is a...
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Delhi

Delhi
  To the uninitiated travelers in our group, and even to the initiated like me, Delhi is, as described by travelers in our group "Not even organized chaos" and "New York City on crack!" We hit the main historic landmarks but took in much more of daily life in this vast city. We rode rickshaws into the Chadni Chowk market of old Delhi and took time to walk amongst the chaotic surface streets of horns and hollering in this south Asia hootenany of earthen oders and spicey scents. But then we descended into a modern underworld three stories down to ride the modern subway to the other side of town in one of the most comfortable and quiet subways I've ever ridden. Our introduction to India this day was a really classic example of old India and modern developed India at the heart of this nation of 1.2 billion people. Adding to the complexity of life here...
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