Bleached deserts fall between hill stations and mountain ranges, spattered with small shrines and twisting pathways.

Raikas move herds between small towns, along mad dusty roads, where helmetless families ride scooters four to the seat, and grand, garish trucks, painted with colourful patterns and hung with tattered iconography, make the ground shake as they thunder by, sounding clacking customised horns.
Chaotic and unpredictable, traffic whisks around cows on the motorways, which wonder freely wherever they choose, and cut in and out of lanes, jostling for position, the biggest vehicles winning out.
Farmers in small, wooden huts use hand ploughs and hundred year old irrigation systems, fighting against the dry heat of the sun, and complete lack of rain.

This heat spreads to the cities, where rikshaws interweave between pedestrians along dusty lanes, churning up dust which settles in piles at the edge of buildings. Shacks sell chewing gum, cigarettes and shiny packs of sweets. Large temples sit away from the road, drawing people through the gates, bells ringing loudly, and small shrines sit at the roadside, riders beeping their horns for good luck as they drive by. Vendors crouching on two wheeled wooden carts sell fruit and vegetables, grinning hopefully if you walk close, as stray dogs eat the rotten leftovers thrown to the side of the road. Buildings pile up on top of each other down disorganised lanes, with rooftops and small balconies jutting out, casting shade on those below.

Beautiful and wild, historical and mysterious, I could spend years in Rajasthan and still barely touch the surface. |