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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

by Dharshanie Mahadeva

Date added: 22nd Feb 2009
8 photos

Categories:
Landscapes
Amritsar

Amritsar

by Adam James Nall

The first few photographs taken on the second leg of our journey:

After an emotional goodbye to our students and a long (and somewhat nauseating) taxi trip we reached the nearest railway station (Pathankot, approx. 83km from Dharamsala) to begin our journey proper. From there four hours on a local train brought us to the capital of Punjab, our residence for the next 72hrs: the magical, mystifying Amritsar.

Amritsar stood in such stark contrast when compared to the cold, quiet tranquillity of McLeod. As we descended from McLeod to the valley bellow we could already feel the change in temperature. The sky was clear, no cloud or mist to protect us from the blazing Indian sun. Progressing through the Punjab on the local train line we had our first proper introduction to Indians. Until now we had, after all, been living in little Lhasa. Colours became brighter, more intense and contrasting. The three primary colours of McLeod (Red - robes, Green - trees, Grey - mist) disappeared into the clouds we left behind us. The sun beat down on our new palate; pinks, blues, oranges, yellows - all of them splashed so lavishly everywhere.

We arrived in Amritsar. The air tasted hot. The smell of pine and incense gave way to spices and diesel. Every part of the city was alive, crawling, dashing and throbbing with movement. Compared to the little Tibetans the Punjabi men soured like Titians, sword in hand (or 'on belt' at least), striding through the bustling, dirt-encrusted streets, instilled with the pride of India's greatest warrior caste. We stayed in a hotel overlooking the site which we had travelled all that way to see: the Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple; the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. I spent most of my brief time in Amritsar taking laps of this temple. The other two in my party had fallen quiet ill on the journey across and were on a strict medicinal diet of hotel lobby food, cold glass-bottled coca-cola and twenty-twenty cricket. They made sure I was getting my daily dose of the latter, but the temple was of more appeal.

One evening took us to Waggah outside Amritsar, one of the few remaining open borders to Pakistan. Here, an elaborate mock-aggressive display of military pomp, peacock fanned hats and pythonesque foot stamping is enacted in a crowd-pleasing show of Indo-Pakistani unity. The crowd was probably the most colourful mosh-pit come rugby scrum I've ever been in. The display left me utterly buzzing with the energy of the crowd, albeit in slight need of a chiropractor. Other pictures show the free meal offered to 30,000 pilgrims per day in the temple (Daal fried, curried chick-pea, chapati and some sweet cake thing - tasty!), one of the luminescent and terrifying temple guards, the night-time procession of the Sikh holy book, pilgrims, and a few shots from the grubby and fascinating surrounding streets. Enjoy!

Date added: 24th Oct 2007
Date taken: September 2007
86 photos

Categories:
Landscapes
People
Travel
McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganj

by Adam James Nall

A selection of photographs (from so so many) taken during a six week teaching placement in McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh, North India. The residence of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile, McLeod has become a haven for Tibetan refugees, Buddhist pilgrims and the ever-present kitsch tourist 'Children of the World' who take to playing flutes out of cafe windows and not wearing any shoes. Regardless of that annoyance McLeod is wonderful. The smell of damp pine needles and incense drift across on the breeze with the thick mist - as pervasive, even, as the hippies during the monsoon season - lending to everything a surreal (and, annoyingly for photography, a harsh white glare and slightly blurred) edge. The distance, though rarely visible, occasionally broke through after a good air-clearing storm to reveal the fantastic views into the valley below and up to the Himalaya proper. A marvelous, magical monk-filled place. For anyone going there to shoot I suggest comprehensive camera insurance and the acceptance that nothing, in the second wettest place in India, in monsoon season, at that altitude, will ever, ever truly be what we the British consider 'dry'...

Album updated! More photos of Tsechokling Monestary, bird photos, and now features photos taken from our trek to Triund (9325ft), including a few shots from an impromtu cricket game we had with a few locals at about 5000ft. The crease was situated either side of a very steep slope, one of which we'd just spent the last two or so hours getting up. Needless to say I was glad to not be fielding...

Date added: 11th Oct 2007
Date taken: August 2007
186 photos

Categories:
Flowers
Landscapes
People
Sport
Travel
Wildlife
India

India

by Oliver Beardon

Some of the higlights of my trip to north western India, Delhi, Shimla, the mountainous summer capital of the British Raj, Macleoudganj, refuge of the Dalai Lama, The Golden Temple, Amritsar, and on to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and the Thar desert. Agra is a bit of a hole, but it has one redeeming virtue, the Taj Mahal, a place of escape from the hectic rush outside the walls, a snooze, and maybe love...

Date added: 17th Feb 2007
Date taken: September 2006
84 photos

Categories:
Landscapes
People
Travel
Wildlife
Displaying albums 1-4 of 4
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