After a couple of days spent in the Indian capital Delhi I’ve now arrived in the Northern State of Uttarakhand after a short pleasant flight from Indra Gandhi airport. As soon as I landed at Deradun I was struck by the changes, there is a sense of space and light here which is very different to the noisy and dusty capital. Uttarakhand is known as the land of the Gods and being up here I can see why, the atmosphere is very peaceful and the expanse of hills and mountains provides a dramatic setting.
After arrival it was just short journey by taxi and then auto rickshaw into the town of Rishikesh where I’ll be based for the next few days before heading further North deeper into the hills and the Himalayas beyond. Rishikesh is known as one of the spiritual centres of the North thanks in no part to the Beatles prolonged stay during the White Album era.
I managed to find a great rest house at a very reasonable price (wi fi included – very handy) so my plan is to spend a few days here getting settled before heading further North to the source of the Ganges. Already I’ve noticed that the nights here are much colder than in Delhi so I need to prepare myself for a further drop in temperature the further North I go. A few people have asked me why I didn’t choose to follow the route of the Ganges in the other direction instead starting at the Bay of Bengal and working my way upstream to avoid the winter temperatures but to me this would have felt like travelling backwards. Starting the trip in February in the snow capped hills of the North will provide a great contrast once I arrive in the April heat of Bangladesh
Rishikesh itself is spread across the two sides of the Ganges and crossing from one side to the other is possible via two large pedestrian suspension bridges that while offering great views are not great for those suffering from vertigo. This is further compounded by groups of monkeys that hang around on the bridge and occasionally grab out at passers by in the hope of stealing their food.
The following images were all shot with my iPhone during my initial scout around the town shortly after arrival. I’ve realised that I need to spend some time working out the exact route I’ll be taking along the Ganges and also deciding how much time to spend in each destination. My feelings are that it’s a much better idea to have a solid route and plan in place before I set off rather than have the risk of wasting time and missing opportunities if I try to work these out on the fly.
Also I’m realising that ensuring my various social media accounts are kept updated will also be a job that will require a necessary amount of time to be dedicated to. I remember that during my first trip to India in 2011 I very rarely went online and posted few blog updates (I even left my mobile at home) but with the increased importance of social media and also especially since this website is new I know that I need to dedicate a portion of time to this. Don’t get me wrong, of course I enjoy sharing my images and updates but it is time consuming, especially when spread across a blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
So this should be the last day of prep and from then on I’ll get into the familiar routine of getting out early to shoot (when the light is best), lunch, back to the hotel to edit/charge batteries/update social media, out again to shoot the evening light and then off to bed early to start again the following day