Why you SHOULD visit Kolkata

Not many tourists go to Kolkata. I only met one other foreigner who had been there and there was only one hostel in the whole city but I knew I wanted to go. When you do a Google search there are even articles that come up titled ‘reasons why you should never go to Kolkata’ but it turned out to have my favourite chaotic streets of any of India’s mega cities that I’d been to.

Varanasi: a place like no other

Varanasi was the place that I imagined I would find India’s intriguing spirituality and most interesting of characters and I was not wrong. The city, with its holy people, it’s rituals, it’s maddening traffic, it’s delicious street food, it’s suffocating alleyways and it’s annoyingly frustrating boat touts and rickshaw drivers, was my favourite place yet.

Seeing the Taj: take one and two

That big, beautiful, white building that sits next to the pyramids on most travel posters. The one thing you can’t leave India without seeing. The Taj Mahal. I was very excited to see it but I did wonder if perhaps it might not be as grand as I’d imagined after seeing so many pictures of … Continue reading Seeing the Taj: take one and two

Happy Hampi

They call it Happy Hampi and I could definitely see why. It was a laidback village amidst a bizarre landscape of giant boulders and ancient temples. It reminded me a lot of Petra in Jordan where you weren’t really restricted as to where you could go and you could scramble up boulders and hills to … Continue reading Happy Hampi

Primary health care in rural India

India was always on my bucket list but what drew me here this particular time was the Comprehensive Rural Health Program (CRHP) in Jamkhed, Maharashtra. The University of Melbourne offers a public health subject based at the CRHP campus and I opted to do it as part of my Development Studies program. The first time … Continue reading Primary health care in rural India

Kerala: God’s own country

When tourists think of southern India they think of Kerala and it’s famous backwaters, palm trees, beaches and laidback attitude. It’s the place where you can forget for a while that you are in a country with over one billion people; it’s quieter and more relaxed than other places on the subcontinent. I spent a … Continue reading Kerala: God’s own country

My Gateway to India

Flying into Mumbai, it looked like any other city with tall sky scrapers all along the coast. I could see a thick blanket of smog hovering over the buildings, but I had expected that. I jumped into a pre-paid taxi and took off for the 25km to my hostel in the Fort area of the … Continue reading My Gateway to India