Photographer's Note

In my last two posts I shared a few photos from my first, super short, stay in Delhi in 2012, a stopover on my way to Bhutan. I returned home with mixed feelings about India. I loved so many things about it but was unfortunate to enjoy it with a really bad guide in tow (a “present” from my travel agent, a compensation for my delayed onward flight to Paro). Also, the process of getting a visa was very bureaucratic, the customs rules awkward and security crazed after the Mumbai attacks 4 years earlier. Then, on my way back, via Guwahati – Delhi, I didn’t get to see anything as my driver was too scared to stop because of the volatile security situation in Assam.

However, I knew I would like to see India again. But I didn’t get to go there until…

…in late summer 2019 I suddenly got a text message saying: “David and I are getting married. Sorry, just a small private do in the UK but in January we are organising a big party for some 200 members of my family in India, in Visakhapatnam (that’s near Hyderabad; also known as Vizag). Would you like to come?”

Before I even got a chance to reply, I was sitting at my desk, checking flights.

And that’s how my 10 days’ India adventure started. 10 days is extremely short to visit such a big country so I had to make some ruthless choices and decided I would pick 3 iconic sights in the north of India before my flight south to Vizag.

Amritsar had been on my “travel wish list” since… 31 October 1984. Since then I was dreaming of visiting the mysterious Golden Temple, where the dark prologue to the assassination of Indira Gandhi unfolded, leading to its dramatic finale in New Delhi.

I had visited the Pakistani side of Punjab in September 2016 so I was surprised to see the weather forecast for Amritsar. In January it was fairly cold, with maximum temperature of 6 Celsius. Not exactly extreme unless… you have to spend several hours walking with your bare feet on cold stone and wet carpets. But then, as they say, “no pain no gain”. Or rather, in my case, no pain no photos.

I like this scene because of the resolute little girl, who had stopped to wait impatiently for her family lagging behind, and her sister, the little lady in red. And also the fact that the colour of their headscarves matches the hues of the temple and the dome on the left. In the overcast weather, all that gold seemed to glow.

Can you guess what other two iconic Indian sights I visited during my trip??

Two more nothing special sort of photos in WS.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1614 W: 9 N: 3273] (16946)
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