Travel

India

India

A mystical land with an intoxicating history, a journey to India is an experience like no other. India will overwhelm your senses with colourful silk saris, aromatic exotic spices and boisterously intense melodies, though these all pale in comparison to the awe-inspiring history of monuments such as the Taj Mahal and countless other palaces and temples throughout the land.

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Ranthambore National Park

Animal screams in the night, the high pitch screech of a peacock, the knowledge that a crocodile wanders nearby, and yet we drift off to sleep quickly. This was our first night in Ranthambore National Park, India. We awoke as our tent glowed golden from the early morning sun. It's 6 am and coffee is waiting at our tent flap. We dress quickly, anxious to start our first safari in a park 8000 miles from home. Even the endless product hawkers hustling us as we board our open air jeep do not diminish our excitement. We pass a magnificent 11th century fort and as we bounce along the rough, dusty terrain we see the ruins of hunting structures once used by the maharajahs. Our guide takes us up ridges to get better views, seeks out watering streams, points out tiger tracks and tucks us in under giant banyans or behind vibrant flowering bushes overlooking meadows where we wait breathlessly. We see antelopes, eagles, crocodiles, sambar and spotted deer, mongoose and spectacular birds but alas no tigers. But it doesn't matter we are exhilarated by our morning adventure and can't wait for the next safari.

Submitted by:
Faye J., Toronto


Elephants in Amber Fort

Her big brown eye peeps at me through her lashes and coyly flicks away. I fidget in my seat and quickly look away not wanting to hold her gaze. Again she sweeps her gaze round to me. I brush at my dusty clothes self-consciously and look down. Her pink painted toenails come into view and then we are off, sashaying along the hillside heading for the Amber Fort. A short line of elephants dressed and painted in their finest regalia; their mahouts resplendent in their satin outfits, colourful headdresses bobbing and swaying in the heat haze. We slowly amble onwards and upwards each step bringing us closer to the honey coloured fort. On our way we pass smiling ladies in their rainbow of saris surrounded by flowers to be made into garlands. They gesture to us as my elephant runs her trunk slowly across the garlands. Woosh! She picks one to take on our journey, sweeping it up to the sky as the ladies try to snatch it back. The ladies are unsuccessful but laughingly leave my elephant to adorn herself with the pretty garland like a bracelet on her trunk. Even elephants like to shop.

Submitted by:
Rosalyn D., Sparta