"TOUR OF INDIA IN 100 DAYS" georgt's Profile
A travel to India means fulfilling a dream of a life time, in the begining I was a little skeptical about it, mainly because I was afraid of having to cope with different standards than those I am used to, all I new about life in India was from television news and informations gathered from travellers who had just returned from the country, when I convinced myself that it was time to take my chance too, I began to lean on internet dedicated sites, to exchange informations and opiniums about what is India and what to expect travelling through there.
First thing I understood, was that I needed a visa for entrying in the country, an expensive visa I think, but you dont have to buy one everyday, and you feel that the money you spend for it is for a good cause anyway.
My first experience dealing with indians was done right at the consular section of the Indian embassy in Rome which issued me the visa, a long stressing waiting in a room for two days, I guessed that was an anticipation of the Indian life in a true sample, and I passed the experience without suffering too much, but I had the strong feeling that I had to expect like treatments from their burocratical system once I was in the country and infact such prediction revealed it-self absolutely correct.
The lenght of stay in india was based on a health insurance I bought, which had an extension of maximum 100 days, actually the only one which offered me an insurance cover for such lenght of time at the very convenient price of about a little more than 1 euros a day, I judged it was perfect also for the time I wanted to spend in india reckoning the travels to the sightseens I had in mind.
I assumed that an insuranse was fundamental, although luckly I never had the need to use it during my journey, however outside every considerations you can think of about its utility and financial guarantee in case of medical helps, it gives you also a great psychological security, as it let you walk free amidst all the health misery which you will be witnessing.
Finally also the day of my flight came, I was feeling ready and excited from the moment I saw the entry visa printed on my passport, I couldnt wait to arrive and start my indian adventure, right from New Delhi.
First time in India? Be aware of this event because the risk to fall in some tourist trap is very high for unprepared travellers, I am one on them, although I was suggested that once arrived at the New Delhi airport, to seat down a moment to relax, to look around and get in the india vibes, I didnt have the time to do so because the driver sent off by my hotel was paging my name in cubicle letter, that I could not miss, I thought I was safe with him, but my trap was just ready to set off.
I want to say beforehand that I didnt fell in this trap anyway, it wasnt a real scam, but such experience hassled me that I will keep it as reference for my next trip to india, beside hoping that reporting it I will enlight somebody on how to deal with it.
Some guy, known by the taxi driver, came over to me and introduced himself as a tour operator sited by my hotel, he began to ask me all kind of personal questions, about my trip to india and the whereabouts of my stay, but in such pushing manner that I got scared, ultimately he was trying to offer him-self as all-do man to organize completely my travel around india, all my visitations to temples and other sightseens, including transportations, lodging and touristic tours.
I thought it was unbelievable, our argument lasted for about 3 hours, although I was tired and wanted to rest, he kept hustling trying to get me in some touristic deal which was far from what I had in mind as my travelling plan was all figured out in advance long before I got the visa.
The whole situation didnt give me a good impression mainly because it was evident that this guy was trying to take advantage of me being a new comer without experience of the indian way of life, it hurted my intelligence a little, but it didnt do any damage and my adventure continued as ever.
For a western tourist, india may appear a bizarre country, full of contraditions and an exclusive taste for live. It is not easy in the occurrance of your first visit to get used of some of their customs and their way of thinking, as they are firmly persuaded that all is part of the indian culture therefore sacred and untouchable. I agree, because basicly I like the ethnicity of the world and peoples different life style, further more, some ways they express their cultural beliefs is interesting from an humanistic point of view.
One useful tip: watch your steps all the time, where ever you go because you risk easily to walk on some stranded animal phisiological traces which despite the credence of bringing you luck, it smears your shoes and your mood. (So I suggest you not to wear sandals)
Anyway, you overcome this aspect of the indian life very soon, after a while you get used of it and get ready for the next torment which may even be more exciting then the one you have just passed.
Indians are very bustling, more in northen cities than southern, but the energy which moves their life is the same, you have the feeling that it comes directly from beneath the soil, and the secret to feel well within such natural dymnamism is to let your self be absorbed by and to follow your self-awareness as possibly as you can, this process of accustoming last about one week, if you are able to pass through it you are integrated and free to go, otherwise if your body reject this new psychophisical condition you better think about what you want to do to preserve your health.
You can admire a proof of the capacity of india people to work relentlessly, in their carved temples directly from the bare rock of mountains, there are about over 1000 of these temples in india, realized in caves extracted from one single block of stone, which took the patient and skillful ability of a myriade of artisans who mostly for faith offered they craftsmanship to the glory of Indian divinities.
The major example of such unwavering faith abnegation which brought in result the accomplishment of one of the work of art, which,to my opinion could deserve the title of world wonder, are the caves of Allora and in particular the temple of Kailasha, a monolitic arrangement of temples, statues, and living quarters, all carved out from a 150 cubic meters solid rock on a side of a hill.
Just an outstanding view, once you are inside the premises you feel immediately, being inside an important historical dimension, where all seem functional and in order, like in the work of a professional architect, you dont understand exactly the human proportion of this workmanship till you get close to the details inside the temples and tabernacle and the monk's cells, you can pickup the cutting edge of the chisel which in some places is left unpolished, that it is a unmistakable evidence of how the whole structure was built.
As a western visitor you start to wonder, and comparing the great architectual realizations of your own country, with this one, and you never find an adequate model to make a comparison, not even with those fine majestic cathedrals which have taken centuries to be built, cant stand with the human application and material efforts needed for sculpting a monument like this one.
At this point you feel the urge to know all about the history of Kailasha, who did it and how, you wont believe till they tell you all what concern its background, which inequivocabily will make you feelling a stranger to the values and ideals of the hindu faith which promoted this work of art, but in contrast, it will establish inside of yourself, a deep respect for it.
1300 millions of people should fit well in a large country such is india, travelling across the country, like I did, you get an idea of the vastness of the land, however where ever you go your eyes cannot miss the sight of a human being, people are everywhere and they seem placed there on purpose to fill the scenery with a real sense of humanity.
In the fields, in the streets and undoubtely in the temples, people dont like to stay put in one place,
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