Incense and candle with blossoms, Rajasthan

After a full month in India, I’m on overload. This trip is done, but the friendly people, fabulous food, history, and artistry that permeates the country, all have me ready to return at the drop of a hat.
The gifts of the trip have been many:

Ajrakh block printing, Gujurat, India

Meeting textile, woodworking and metal artists in Gujarat, and learning about traditions passed down for generations…

 Camel and driver, Rajasthan, India

…experiencing desert hospitality in Rajasthan…

 Morning in Bandavghar National Park, India

…wildlife-spotting in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch and Bandavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh…

Fortress, Gwalior, India

…and big doses of history to absorb everywhere I went, from Bhuj, where the aftermath of earthquake still resonates, to Gwalior Fort, with its lavishly carved and decorated Man Mandir palace set high above a modern city.

 At the Rajasthani table

And of course, there is the food, always a big part of my travels. From enjoying this morning’s cup of Punjabi choley bhature, to sampling Gujarati home cooking, to a full-fledged coastal South Indian feast in Delhi, the culinary experiences of the journey have been illuminating and immensely satisfying.

I love most things Indian, and I guess it shows. Just about everywhere, I’ve been treated like a long-cousin, certainly more than a casual visitor—fine hotels put out the welcome mat, sure, but it’s the homely hospitality, sharing meals or tea and snacks with local hosts, I hold dear.

Tigress in Bandavgar National Park, Andra Pradesh, India

And of course, that glimpse of a tiger!

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