India is one of those countries that challenges completely your understanding of life. From the busy streets packed with animals and people, to the continuous honking of rickshaws and motorbikes; from the spicy flavours of the foods, to the colours and diversity of people…India will literally blow your mind!
In my time working there I have seen plenty of things, but India is so massive and it’s culture so rich and ancient that I feel like I know just a little part of it. My work brought me in 3 different locations: Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Although all 3 of them in the north of the Indian sub-continent, the landscapes, cultures and religions are completely different from one another.
Rajasthan is the region of the desert with monumental cities like Jaipur (the pink city), Jodhpur (the blue city), Udaipur (the Venice of the East), Pushkar and Jaisalmer. If you happen to be in India during Holi (the colour festival) Pushkar is definitely the place to be! A very lively city with a sacred lake in the middle where people of faith take ablutions and leave offerings to the gods. You can also take an early steep hike up the temples around the city and admire the whole city from above (occasionally surrounded by monkeys!).
Another city that left a mark on me is Jaisalmer, which is a tiny village surrounded by the desert that defines the border between Pakistan and India in this region. Here you can visit the ancient and well preserved fort that encircles the citadel, or you can also take a tour on camels and sleep under the bright stars in the desert. The tour guides provide you with tends, however the night sky was so beautiful that I ended up sleeping outside with loads of blankets on (don’t be fooled, desert nights are extremely cold!!)
Udaipur is another city that deserves a mention here. Constructed on various lakesand canals (rightfully called the Venice of the East) , there is plenty to do around this big
city, from visiting temples and the unmissable fort (there is one of them in pretty much every city in Rajasthan!). Also a fun thing and quite scenic is to take the cable car up to the top of the hill and look at the city from above. It is quite a view especially around sunset time. Another interesting trip is to take a boat and reach some of the islands in the middle of the massive lakes of the city.
When traveling to India, Rajasthan is one of those states that you should definitely not miss out! Check more on travel guides and blogs to find out about hidden gems of this fantastic region.
If you would like to volunteer in India, or in any of our other countries, then please feel free to contact myself or another member of the Kaya team by requesting a call back or more information!