Drawing from India

This item appears on page 18 of the September 2010 issue.
This is subscriber only post.
Get one year of online-only access — only $15!
Below is a sample of the article.
Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

If you would like to read an issue from the archives that is free to nonsubscribers click here.

My son and I went on the 19-day “Heart of India” tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA; 800/493-6824, www.oattravel.com), Oct. 27-Nov. 14, 2009. For me, India was not primarily about the castles, ruins, museums, shrines, etc.; it was the atmosphere.

While at the Ranthambore Game Preserve we had about given up on seeing a Bengal tiger, but at the end of our game drive we came upon one just getting up from its nap and strolling off. Magnificent — a sight I’ll never forget!

The Nahargarh Hotel, where we stayed on the preserve, was remarkable — a great white palace in the middle of nowhere. The rooms were grouped around beautiful courtyards with statuary and fountains, and our room was spacious.

This particular trip included the annual Pushkar Camel Fair, when Hindus come on pilgrimage from all over to bathe in the healing waters of Lake Pushkar. In spite of a drought, crop failures and recession, there still were tens of thousands of folks there.

We walked the streets, passing all sorts of shops set up to take advantage of the crowd. You could get candies made from syrup squeezed from sugarcane. One vendor dipped potato pieces in batter and deep-fried them, then served them in cones made from folded newspaper.

The strikingly colored saris were a beautiful sight, although it was hard to get used to seeing women in these saris busily working with cow dung or repairing roads.

In Pushkar we stayed in “tents.” These were spacious at 20 feet by 20 feet, with comfortable beds and an attached bathroom. There was a large floor fan in the room, and it was a great help since the temperature was over 100°F. Of course, we could use it only during hours the power was on. We showered only when the hot water was on. It sounds a bit tough but actually was quite satisfactory and fun — another adventure.

The highlight was the Taj Mahal. It was everything I expected and more! On my wall is the picture I took. It is no better or different from hundreds of others, but it is mine!

HENRY KROEGER

Redmond, WA

In 2011, OAT’s “Heart of India” tour will cost $3,195-$3,995 per person, double, including airfare from the East Coast.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My son and I went on the 19-day “Heart of India” tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA; 800/493-6824, www.oattravel.com), Oct. 27-Nov. 14, 2009. For me, India was not primarily about the castles, ruins, museums, shrines, etc.; it was the atmosphere.

While at the Ranthambore Game Preserve we had about given up on seeing a Bengal tiger, but at the end of our game drive we came upon one just getting up from its nap and strolling off. Magnificent — a sight I’ll never forget!

The Nahargarh Hotel, where we stayed on the preserve, was remarkable — a great white palace in the middle of nowhere. The rooms were grouped around beautiful courtyards with statuary and fountains, and our room was spacious.

This particular trip included the annual Pushkar Camel Fair, when Hindus come on pilgrimage from all over to bathe in the healing waters of Lake Pushkar. In spite of a drought, crop failures and recession, there still were tens of thousands of folks there.

We walked the streets, passing all sorts of shops set up to take advantage of the crowd. You could get candies made from syrup squeezed from sugarcane. One vendor dipped potato pieces in batter and deep-fried them, then served them in cones made from folded newspaper.

The strikingly colored saris were a beautiful sight, although it was hard to get used to seeing women in these saris busily working with cow dung or repairing roads.

In Pushkar we stayed in “tents.” These were spacious at 20 feet by 20 feet, with comfortable beds and an attached bathroom. There was a large floor fan in the room, and it was a great help since the temperature was over 100°F. Of course, we could use it only during hours the power was on. We showered only when the hot water was on. It sounds a bit tough but actually was quite satisfactory and fun — another adventure.

The highlight was the Taj Mahal. It was everything I expected and more! On my wall is the picture I took. It is no better or different from hundreds of others, but it is mine!

HENRY KROEGER

Redmond, WA

In 2011, OAT’s “Heart of India” tour will cost $3,195-$3,995 per person, double, including airfare from the East Coast.