Rishikesh Friends

As the song says, you gotta have friends. Unfortunately, living on the road comes with one major disadvantage, a lack of community. So, when we stumbled across the ultimate collection of travelers in Rishikesh, a cosmic vortex not just of new age “spiritual energy” but also of extremely hilarious people, we decided to stick around a while and take in all the craziness. While many come to Rishikesh to find enlightenment, we were thrilled just to find some really great conversation. Here’s to all the characters – we miss you all.

Beatles Ashram

The strange little spiritually-overcharged pilgrim town of Rishikesh is famous throughout India for its association with the holy river Ganges. To Westerners, it is remembered for a very different reason, completely unknown to most Indians. It is the location of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, where the Beatles studied Transcendental Meditation and wrote most of the “White Album” in 1968.

Bizarrely, what could have been the ultimate pilgrim destination for ’60s musics fans, the Indian version of Graceland is now Continue…

Daisy

She’s cute, she’s all smiles, and she’s named after a flower, but make no mistake about it, Daisy is a true adventuress in the making. While many other Brits are content to spend the gap-year on a safer, pre-packaged outing, Daisy would have none of that.

At the incredible age of 19 Continue…

Rishikesh

Rishikesh, ancient spiritual center and pilgrimage site for Hindus, was put on the map with the arrival of the Beatles at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram in the late 1960s. Since then, Rishikesh has been declared the yoga capital of the world with numerous yoga and meditation ashrams along the banks of the Ganges. In between Ayurvedic tea and Ayurvedic massages, Rishikesh is all about Continue…

Tiger Number 2!

One thing that didn’t make it into the Corbett National Park video below was TIGER # 2!!! Our small success was shared with our fellow safari adventurers Richard, Will, Dave and James.

That’s right, we saw our second wild tiger in the park. Unfortunately, the very spontaneous 4-second viewing occurred during a Continue…

Corbett National Park

Corbett National Park, just a day by train from Delhi, is one of India’s most scenic parks. Although tigers are often spotted in the park, it is best known for its large herds of Asian elephants. In fact, this marks the first time that either of us have ever seen an Asian elephant in the wild. Now you can experience the park too in another one of our world-famous (kind of) videos.

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Angering Indian Railways

Gee, I think we upset somebody working for Indian Railways with our posting on the Rajdhani Express. Or, at least, we upset someone using the YouTube login indianrailways. Before our posting had even gone public on ContemporaryNomad.com, he had found our video on YouTube and TRASHED it in the comment section.

We must be doing something right!

Actually, his comments reveal a great deal on increasing Indian nationalism and extreme sensitivity to critique (even if humorous) of the country. Ironically, he seems to be most upset about our statement that it smelled like raw sewage on the platform. As he commented, it is true that India usually smells like an open sewer; however, the Ahmedabad train station was having serious issues the day we left, which even had Indians gagging.

If you want to check out his rants for yourself, you can read his comments by clicking here. (By the way, what happened between the first comment and the second?)

Rajdhani Express India – Traveling in Style?

Ever since we came to this country, we’ve been wanting to travel on board some of India’s luxurious trains. The famous Palace on Wheels or The Fairy Queen are out of question as $700 dollars a day for a double compartment is a bit beyond our budget. So we chose the Rajdhani Express.

Click play to watch video

Super deluxe clearly isn’t for us, but traveling on the deluxe Rajdhani Express for our 14-hour overnight journey from Ahmedabad to New Delhi wasn’t too shabby either. It was a bit painful to spend $133 on a couple of first-class train tickets as that amount would normally be our entire budget for a 5-day period. However, the promise of a first-class sleeper compartment and food served on china convinced us to shell out the dough.

Watch the video to follow along on our train journey and see for yourself what luxurious means in India, and why big bucks don’t always guarantee success. If you want to find out why we didn’t make it to New Delhi make sure you watch the whole thing.