I've been saving India. I've had plenty of opportunities of visiting but each time I found the discipline to say 'No'. India is a different world. To experience India you need time and I told myself that six months would be the absolute minimum that I would consider visiting for. Finally the time arrived when I did find six spare months. It blew me away!
THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS
Despite being closer to Myanmar than India the Andaman Islands are under Indian control. A pawn in international politics, India is only the latest in a series of powers to control this isolated chain of tropical islands deep in the Indian ocean. They do, however, remain a tropical paradise.
THE KUMBH MELA 2013
Literary the largest human gathering that has ever taken place. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend as part of a group of quite a widely respected Sadhu, holy man.
UTTRAYAN (KITE FESTIVAL)
I cannot describe this event in a few words. The rush that accompanies the sudden realisation that there is an enemy kite angling himself in a strategic position for no other reason than to destroy your kite can only be described by the words of Khaled Hosseini in 'The Kite Runner'. Cut fingers, sore arms, 200 lost kites and huge grins on our faces marks our two days of kite flying.
SKI TOURING IN THE HIMALAYAS
Could I pass up the opportunity of a 4-day ski touring trip in the Himalayas? No. We made camp at 3000m and each day we pushed higher to reach 4,400m. On the final day we skiied right down to the snow line - a 2,000m decent!
In 2013 as I was travelling through India I was invited by a respected holy man to attend the largest human festival that has every occurred. I spent eight days and nights at the festival. The experience was one of the most impressive I have ever witnessed.
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In the North Western Indian state of Gujarat there is a city that is covered in hundreds of species of birds. In the winter months it is also the scene of the most beautiful murmurations of Rosy Starlings that you could ever see.
The kite festival in Ahmadabad, Gujarat is one of the most eagerly anticipated festivals of the year. Millions of kites are flown over the two day festival. This video follows Deepak Banjara, a local kite enthusiast as he celebrates this festival in 2013.