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  • Writer's pictureRocky Batchelor

India. A Journey through History and Tradition.

Join Rocky, 19zero3's Creative Director on a picturesque journey to India.

With no travel plans or bookings, just a one way ticket to India and a one way ticket home from Nepal with nothing more than a backpack, passport and a camera.

India is a country known for its rich and diverse culture that dates back thousands of years. With over 1.4 billion people, India is a melting pot of different religions, languages, traditions, and customs. One of the most distinctive features of Indian culture is its vibrant festivals, colours and textures.

I began in the bustling and very overwhelming capital city of India, New Delhi. The city's chaotic streets are full of sounds, and smells that can overwhelm the senses. From the majestic Mughal-era monuments like the Red Fort and Jama Masjid to the modern skyscrapers and bustling markets, New Delhi offers a fascinating blend of the old and the new. India's rich history and heritage can be seen in its architecture, with ancient temples, palaces, and forts dotting the landscape. The country's classical dances, such as Bharatanatyam and Kathak, are not just forms of entertainment but also a way to preserve traditional stories and beliefs. Overall, the culture of India is a tapestry of traditions, colours, flavours, and celebrations that continue to enchant and inspire people around the world.

Travels led me through famous and iconic parts of India such as Agra and other destinations along the much travelled golden triangle which led me to the royal state of Rajasthan, where i explored majestic forts and palaces of Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. The vivid colours, beautiful architecture, bustling markets, and warm hospitality of the locals left a lasting impression. But it was In the spiritual town of Rishikesh, a personal favourite that the true memories that last a lifetime were formed.

Rishikesh is a serene town in northern India located in the Himalayan foothills renowned for its spiritual significance and natural beauty. Known as the "Yoga Capital of the World," Rishikesh attracts visitors from around the globe seeking inner peace and tranquility. The sacred Ganges River flows through the town, offering opportunities for meditation, yoga, and spiritual cleansing. Rishikesh is also famous for its numerous ashrams, temples, and adventurous activities like white-water rafting and trekking, making it a unique destination that blends spirituality with adventure.

Venturing further, I concluded my journey in the city of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Travelling from Rishikesh to Kathmandu on a 20+ hour journey through the stunning landscapes of the Himalayas, stopping for rest in small villages with local friend and driver Parap I had met earlier in the trip. As you head towards Kathmandu, you witness breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, charming villages, and lush green valleys.

Crossing the border into Nepal, I had the amazing experience to spend some time in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery, observing the young students as they engage in meditation and study. The teachings of Buddha can be both humbling and inspiring with an atmosphere filled with the sound of chanting monks and the scent of incense. Walking through the halls lined with intricate mandalas and colourful prayer flags, you can feel a sense of tranquility wash over you.

Before departing back to Australia I was greeted by the vibrant city of Kathmandu, a flurry of ancient traditions and modern influences, and Kathmandu being the counterpoint for mountaineers taking on the famous Mount Everest, this city is thriving with travellers and adventurers. Kathmandu is well known for its culinary delight with a diverse array of delicious food options to tantalise your taste buds. From traditional Nepali dishes like momos (dumplings), dal bhat (rice and lentils), and Newari cuisine to international offerings such as Italian, Chinese, and Indian fare, Kathmandu has something for everyone. Nepalese artists are famous for paintings and art, one famous technique is their gold leaf paintings. This intricate technique involves applying delicate sheets of real gold onto a surface to create stunning and detailed designs, it is said most of the artworks take one artist up to 3 months to complete. I had to experience this technique first hand before finding myself the perfect artwork for myself by visiting the numerous art galleries and exhibitions before departing.

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