Festivals of India

India  is a country that is hard to conceptualize. The diversity of religions, cultures, languages, and traditions is mind-boggling, yet they all coexist (not always peacefully) throughout the country. It is a place rich in mythology, spirituality, and color, which all combine to make one aspect of Indian life thrive: festivals.  There are many festivals throughout the year, each celebrated differently from place to place, but always wi...
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Traveling Abroad in India: Say Yes to Trains!

I slept on the top bunk in the sleeping car of a passenger train bound for Varanasi , India, an ancient city on the banks of the Ganges in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. My friend slept below me on the lower bunk. Something had woken me up in the middle of the night, a movement near my feet, and as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting I made out two huddled figures at the end of my bunk; two women wrapped in saris sharing the tiny space wit...
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India by Train: Purchasing Tickets

My first day in Kolkata , India, consisted of exiting a plane at the dingy international airport on one side of the city, hailing a cab to take us through the mess of disconnected streets and traffic that included everything from bikers to horse drawn carts to free-ranging cows, and wandering into the largest railway station in all of India . I had been here before. I knew what I was doing. We just needed to book a train north. Sounds easy enough...
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