With the help of an excellent guide, we visited the less-travelled regions of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. More than in other regions, we explored village life here, which brought us to people's homes and daily lives and close to people's tribal and religious rituals and festivals. A perfect combination with a glimpse of rich biodiversity at the mangroves in Bhitarkanika and Chilika lake wetlands.
Tamil Nadu is hot and dusty, but has cooler escapes at the coast and in the mountains. We were stunned by its beautfiul Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture and its multi-religious pilgrimage sites.
Revitalized with healthy shakes in Goa, we hit the road (and rail) again towards Karnataka and Kerala, with delicous food, beautiful green landscapes and very warm people.
We entered India over land from Nepal, and like for most people, our first day and night in India were a total culture shock. We seriously had to get used to the street noise, the amount of people, the cows and the rubbish. But the remaining three months in India more than compensated this. We spent almost two weeks in fascinating Varanassi, met great people in pretty Orchha, were astonished by the Khajuraho temples, and made fantastic train trips.