In January 2016, I had the incredible opportunity to immerse myself in the wonders of India for three weeks. My journey took me through the renowned Golden Triangle, encompassing Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, as well as the vibrant cities of Rajasthan, including Ajmer, Pushkar, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer. I also explored the diverse landscapes of Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. India proved to be a sensory overload, an intense and vivid experience marked by a symphony of sounds and an array of captivating scents. It was a visual spectacle, offering a mosaic of unfamiliar sights and intriguing juxtapositions, creating an experience truly unlike any other.

Rajasthan, in particular, left an indelible mark on me with its breathtaking beauty, steeped in history, adorned with Indo-Islamic architecture, romantic havelis, winding labyrinthine alleys, and a cuisine bursting with intricate spices. Varanasi, on the other hand, was a photographer’s paradise, a ceaseless whirlwind of colors and commotion. Here, Sadhus offered prayers to passersby, sacred cows meandered through the streets, locals engaged in their daily laundry routines, pilgrims bathed in the holy river, and children played cricket just a stone’s throw away from where cremations took place. Embarking on a boat ride along the Ganges, witnessing the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ritual, and observing the incredible tapestry of everyday life unfold on the ghats was an experience that will forever be etched in my memory.