"INDIA 2017" was a short trip of just one month.
Started with one week in Gundalaba village, Odisha.
My friend Tuku ji runs a turtle protection project among other environment related projects.
The female starts digging a hole to lay her eggs.
Apparently not disturbed by (Tuku-ji) the human presence
She lays about 100 eggs
Then fills in the nest, and leaves, never to see her eggs hatching.
Green Life Rural Association gather eggs from as many nests as possible.
Then they transfer them to a man-made nest......
...... in a secure site, where stray dogs can't dig them up.
Once hatched, they are released on the beach and make their own way to the sea.
Back in Gundalaba village.
Then off to a conference to discuss making the local beach front a Plastic Free Zone....
The site was deliberately chosen to show the deplorable state of the popular tourist area.
Most of the audience were women, as the men were out at work.
After the conference, a symbolic clean-up.
....... and finally, a few words from our foreign correspondant.....
From Gundalaba to Puri, then to Bhubaneshwar to take a flight to Delhi.
Puri Railway Station
Breakfast on the train to Bhubaneshwar - Samosas
Week 2 started with 3 nights in Delhi.
I had met Aditya Arya, curator of the India Photo Archive, in Paris in June 2016.
I was determined to pay him a visit in Gurgaon, Delhi this year.
Aditya ji is not only very friendly, but has a passion for the history of photography.
Aditya Arya ji
While wandering around Old Delhi, I came across the Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib Temple.
Sikh temples traditionally provide food for anyone and everyone.
Close by is the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) Old Delhi
Old Delhi is fascinating, though often too crowded to move around and take photos freely.
On this day the temperature was 40°
Large Ganesh and life-size Buddha
I'm not 100% sure, but I think this cupboard under the stairs is in fact a repair workshop,
though I have no idea what for !
Everything 100 rupees !!
Old Delhi's electricity network is in a shocking state.
National Rail Museum, Chanakayapuri, New Delhi
Most of the exhibits are in better condition than current rolling stock !!
Left Delhi on 31/03 on night train to Udaipur.
Arrived 07:30 on 01/04
Women's Festival at Gangaur Ghat, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Gulab Bargh (Rose Garden), Udaipur
Free long-term motor-cycle parking.
Letter Box offering express service to Pisa....
Wok the .... ?
Aloo Tikki and Chole (Fried Potato Cakes with Chick Pea Sauce)
Street Jacuzzi, Udaipur
Udaipur is famous for its typical local Street Art
Colourful March by Hindus in the strets of Udaipur
And back to Lake Pichola.
Lake Palace, Udaipur
From Udaipur to Rishikesh on 04/04, via Hazrat Nizamuddin on 05/04,
then to Haridwar, and finally a taxi to Laxman Jhula / Rishikesh
Traditonal building practices, Rishikesh....
.... Hanuman seems to have his doubts.....
Tree with private balcony
When choosing a local restaurant, eat where the locals eat...
Waterfall, just 2 km from Rishikesh
Down on the Ganges at Rishikesh, the ideal place to say Suriya Namaskar (Greetings to the Sun) every morning as it appears above the hills about one hour after sunrise.
Suriya Namaskar !
Suriya Namaskar !
Suriya Namaskar !
Suriya Namaskar !
At 7:30 am, you have to bring your own tea...
Laxman Jhula is the other side of the Ganges from Rishikesh.
Thanks to the Beatles, it has 60 years of history as a "Chill-Out" destination.
Still a favourite place for real and fake Gurus, Sadhus, Babas etc....
And a surprisingly pleasant laid-back sort of ambiance.
The Mango Tree Guest House is run by my Godson Vikki and his associate Shobam.
Around Laxman Jhula
Fresh Sugar Cane Juice
I've never seen straberries as red as these.....!
Typical local tourist shops.
As Laxman Jhula is strictly vegan, you have to go to Rishikesh to buy eggs.
Walking along the banks of the Ganges.....
Laxman Jhula Bridge joins Rishikesh to Laxman Jhula.
I.5 Km downstream is Ram Jhula
Trayambakeshwar Temple getting a much needed re-paint
View from Mango Tree Guest House
Laxman Jhula Bridge with no one on it - a rare sight !
Rishikesh to the left, and Laxman Jhula to the right
Morning bath in the Holy Ganga....
Cleanliness and Godliness at the same time.
Yoga is what Laxman Jhula and Rishikesh are all about.
Political debate in the street
The only way to travel.....
Free meal, this time offered by Hindus in Laxman Jhula
Trainee Sadhu, religious ascetic.
Another trainee Sadhu
Commercial Sadhu / Guru
Holy Water from the Ganes - the perfect gift formy friends in Amarpurkashi
Nightly Ganga Arti Puja Ceremony (Blessing the Ganges with music).
Hanuman at the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple near Laxman Jhula
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Left Rishikesh on 15/04
Return to Amarpurkashi, as every year.
Former Project Director, Mukat Singh, at the Eco-Harmony Project that he set up 2 years ago.
In the village
Village Doctor's Surgery
Street Food at its best - Deep-fried Potatoes in Spicy Batter
Fuel for heating and cooking, made from cow dung and straw.
The smoke given off is carcinogenic.
Wedding equipment rentals
Dry toilets at the Eco-Harmony Project
New construction in the classroom blocks
And finally a quick look at some food......
Aloo Paratha (Potato Pancake), Dahi (Yogurt), Chatni (Spicy Sauce) and Chai (Milk Tea).
Poha (Puffed rice) and accompaniments
These 3 Aloo Parathas with Yogurt and Pickle were ordered using
Indian Railways Food Delivery App "Food on Track", paid for with my "Paytm" digital wallet,
and delivered to my seat in the train by a restaurant at the chosen station.
Bhindi (Okra), Dal and Rice
Korean Food for a change
Making Tandoori Nan Bread
Nan Bread, Rajma (Kidney Beans), Palak (Spinach) and Rice
Salad, Dal and Rice
Roti, Salad, Dal and Rice
Samosa with sweet and spicy sauce
Special Thali .....
.... with Nan Bread, Raita and Chatni
Shobam's home made Chocolate Cake
A healthy breakfast at the Mango Tree Guest House ...
..... and another
I raided the Guest House fridge one morning, as everyone was still asleep at 8 am.
I made this Fruit Salad, Yogurt and Muesli Thali with Honey
Raj Bhog and Rabri / Rasgula
Now let's start planning the next trip.....