The Many Faces of India

The Many Faces of India

If there’s one thing that travel has taught me it’s that there are many ways to live your life. Nowhere is that more clear than in India. You meet a diverse group of travelers and observe many different ways of life. From the Tibetan north in Dharamsala to Mumbai’s Bollywood glamour down to the palm-tree lined beaches of the South we have met a varied group of Indians.

India’s story is as diverse as it’s billion plus people. After spending nearly four months in the subcontinent we’ve met many incredible people. While most of our interactions with people are short-lived, one thing is clear they are a diverse group. While some are quick to tell you how India is the best country others want to discuss the difficulties with corruption and what stands in the way of progress. They certainly aren’t all working at call centers and spending their nights in line at the tandoori buffet as stereotypes might have us believe.

Here is a glimpse into India, through it’s people from north to south:

This woman could be the poster child for Leh, which is 45% Buddhist. I snapped this portrait at a Buddhist festival in the Phyang Monastery. She is carrying her 108 prayer bead mala and has her hair in the traditional long braids worn by most Ladakhi women. The Dalai Lama has a residence in Leh and for most people life centers around their faith. We loved visiting the Buddhist monasteries in the area where many people don’t earn a living, but are involved in the strong monastic tradition.

While most people earn their living through tourism in the colorful state of Rajasthan, Jaislamer is known for their nomadic cattle, sheep and goat herders. Of course as they pass through town they always stop for a hot cup of chai regardless of the soaring temperatures in the desert town of Jaisalmer. The guy in the above picture reportedly makes the best chai in town. We enjoyed his masala mixture and the people watching at his tea stall.

As we moved further south we gravitated to the coast to enjoy some beach time. Between the beaches of Goa and Kerala we stopped in Kochi, which is a major exporter of seafood. Therefore fishing is one of the most common ways to make a living. I couldn’t resist getting a shot of this fish monger in action. As we watched fisherman operating their huge nets on the waterfront I felt like I was a bit closer to daily life.

It has been fascinating to see the various ways Indians make a living and enjoy observing them at work.  It’s amazing how much traveling opens your eyes and gives you a new perspective on the world around you.

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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