For me, one of the most rewarding things about travel is the opportunity to view and photograph wildlife I could never see at home. In this post I share some of the most memorable - and unusual - animal experiences I have had on my journeys around the globe. What has been your most exciting wildlife experience on your travels?
All the encounters in these posts were with wild animals, apart from the horses which were domesticated and well cared-for.
Indri in Madagascar
A trip to the island of Madagascar, Read more [...]
Not many visitors make it to Gujarat, the most westerly state of India, perched on the western point of the diamond that roughly represents the shape of the country. A "dry" state (alcohol is banned, although foreigners can buy it for consumption behind closed doors if they first obtain a permit), Gujarat is low on foreign faces but loaded with history and culture.The state has a language all its own - Gujarati - and is an intoxicating mixture of buzzing cities, quiet villages and some of the Read more [...]
We arrived at Shatrunjaya early in the morning, and it was just as well.
Situated in the town of Palitana, just over an hour’s drive from Bhavnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat, Shatrunjaya holds tremendous significance to followers of the Jain religion. A massive temple complex built on top of a hill that dominates the surrounding landscape, 23 of the 24 tirthankars who founded the Jain religion visited here, making it a very holy site. Today it is a place of pilgrimage, as devotees Read more [...]
Slumdog Millionaire - that is what most people know of life in Dharavi slum, Mumbai. Images of young boys running barefoot through narrow alleyways, of poverty and hardship. Or maybe rough shanties leaning up against the railway lines, corrugated lean-tos housing entire families. However you've heard of it, the images of Dharavi life that come to mind are bound to be negative.I've visited slums before, notably Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, so was keen to experience what a Dharavi slum tour is like Read more [...]
The name Kolkata is woven into the history of India. Formerly known as Calcutta, and once the capital of the British Raj, this sprawling city is located in the north-eastern state of West Bengal, close to the border with Bangladesh, and buzzes with energy and life.Kolkata has a reputation for extreme poverty and overwhelming sensation. Whilst the former is definitely true – poverty is everywhere in India, but somehow especially in-your-face in this unapologetic city – whether you find Kolkata Read more [...]
I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely adore India. I love the colour, the bustle, the curries and the history. I love the temples and the weather. But in all my Indian travels so far, the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu remains my absolute favourite. Located on India's eastern coast, along with the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, it is less visited than the north of the country and has a charm all its own. Here are 5 great reasons why you need to visit Tamil Nadu for yourself!
The Read more [...]
Amritsar, capital of the Punjab region of India, is a city with a character all its own. Sitting close to the border with Pakistan since partition in the 1940s, it has a large Sikh population and is home to the greatest temple in the Sikh religion. I fell in love with the city, which is a little less crazy than some others in India, a little more ordered, at least by local standards. And as a place to visit in springtime, it is blessedly cooler than the cities further south.For a short visit Read more [...]
One of the joys of travel is to experience the best of cultures the world over. Music and dancing is a huge part of my life at home, and I’ve been lucky enough to watch many international dance genres on my journeys across the globe, sometimes as a display for tourists, sometimes in its most authentic form. Here are my 12 favourite experiences of traditional dance around the world - what are yours? 1. Kathakali dancers, Kerala, India
The folk dances of India are as varied as the country Read more [...]
Shah Jahan’s mausoleum (and architectural love letter) to his wife Mumtaz Mahal is surely at the top of most people’s must-see list in India. One of the 7 Modern Wonders of the World, it has quite the reputation to live up to! But what do you need to know for your Taj Mahal visit?Where is the Taj Mahal located?
The Taj Mahal is in Agra, a city some 3 hours’ drive to the southeast of Delhi. Approached by train or via a modern, fast motorway, it is a best visited as an overnight stay to Read more [...]