Adventure Travel Blogging

 India, is a vast and splendid land of divergent cultures and cuisines – or, as Paul William Roberts would say, to the “empire of the soul.” We’ll steer you through a spectacular labyrinth of sights and mysteries to bring out the wonders of this sub-continent: battlements of Rajasthan's opulent palaces, the Taj Mahal and Varanasi on the Ganges...

 India, is a vast and splendid land of divergent cultures and cuisines – or, as Paul William Roberts would say, to the “empire of the soul.” We’ll steer you through a spectacular labyrinth of sights and mysteries to bring out the wonders of this sub-continent: battlements of Rajasthan's opulent palaces, the Taj Mahal and Varanasi on the Ganges River in the north; wild jungles and tiger habitats of central India; and tropical Malabar backwaters and plantations of the Spice Hills in the south. You’ll be enveloped by the warmth and hospitality of India’s people: in the old city of Jodphur where you’re invited to the private home of the Sankahla family for lunch; in Bandhavharh and Kanha National parks when the local guides and conservationist detail passionately their struggle to bring tigers back from the brink of extinction; and in the rural villages of Rajasthan when we dine with royal family descendants who tell us about daily Indian life.

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A Wild Anniversary Party - Only in Incredible India

Celebrating our wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day always requires advance planning, but this year I was organizing the big event a year in advance with the help of our friends in far away India    .    I kept it a secret from Anne and all the members of our group until the day before when I took everyone to a textile shop in Jaipur where all the men were fitted with white linen Indian pajama outfits, and all the women were given a sari. I picked out a dressy black kurta for myself and one of the hotel staff topped it off with a local turban. For Anne, I had measured her in her sleep months before and sent her dimensions to a tailor in India and had an orange wedding dress made for her.    As the sun set behind our Samode Palace hotel two women arrived to painted henna...
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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 world...
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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 Jungle...
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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 little...
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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 there...
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