A Month In India - Travel Photographer Manchester

Travel photography from a month I spent in India. Flying from Manchester my journey began in Mumbai and then continued south to Goa. From there I stopped off in Hampi, Mysore, Kerala, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur and back to Mumbai.

Touchdown in Mumbai

I can vividly remember the taxi ride from the airport, the overwhelming level of activity, the smell of polluted warmth and the incessant sound of vehicle horns. Downtown Colaba was my destination, I’m not going to lie I felt completely out of my depth when my taxi driver turfed me out several streets from my destination, you can plead all you want it seems. It turned out to be only a short walk to my hostel through the crowded narrow markets of Colaba Causeway. 

From the City to the Beach

The next part of our journey meant taking a flight to Goa to spend time on the coast between Palolem and Patnem beach. Right up until the point a taxi driver stole my travel companions wallet outside the airport I’d been sad to leave Mumbai. Our apparent ‘celebrity’ around the city had made asking strangers for their portrait a little easier as we would typically get approached first for a selfie by many of the Indian tourists. I was amazed by the demand from people to have their photo taken with a westerner and on more than one occasion found the experience totally bizarre and overwhelming.

I wasn’t really prepared for the contrast between Mumbai and our destination in Goa, it was really quite peaceful and genuinely relaxing. The tiny quiet bay we were staying in felt like our own altogether. The journey over to Palolem beach from our accommodation was a truly memorable route that took us across paths and rocks until we landed on the beach. We arrived to find a full-scale cricket match going on as the sunset, I loitered for some time waiting to make a catch to no avail. Regrettably, we overindulged that evening in cocktails and beers so the following day was spent gingerly sipping coconut water in a cafe trying to find accommodation that was close to the train station to take us off to Hampi. 

The First Train to Alien Landscapes

After relocating to a much less picturesque part of Goa in order to make our early morning journey to the train station much easier we boarded the first train of our trip. Bound for Hospet our sleeper class carriage was a flurry of activity. People jostled for position and sellers, hawking their wares walked up and down the packed carriages. I’d managed to land the window seat so much of my journey was spent watching the passing countryside, I also caught my first glimpse of a group of India’s 50 or so million monkeys. How it had taken over a week I had no idea. Hampi had been one destination that I was really looking forward too and after a fairly long but straightforward journey from Goa, we arrived at Hospet station with Hampi only a short ride away. Having already experienced the sometimes frightening standard of driving on India’s roads on several taxi/car journeys, oddly there was something about getting into a tuk tuk - a small, noisy, underpowered three wheeled vehicle in most cases with no seatbelts or doors - and setting off into the chaos that brought out the excitable child in me and this journey from Hospet to Hampi was no exception. The landscape steadily began to change as we approached the ancient village of Hampi, with it’s signature granite boulders growing larger and larger as we get nearer. The best single word I can use to describe this UNESCO world heritage site is otherworldy. It’s a boulder, temple and monument strewn landscape that covers over 16 sq miles. The surviving remains of a defeated Hindu kingdom that was once one of wealthiest places on earth. 

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