NWNL Spotlight

NORTH INDIA: The Himalayan Flanks
A NWNL SPOTLIGHT on the Hindo-Gangetic Plains,
Yamuna/Ganges River Basin and Rajasthan Desert

NWNL Lead: Alison M. Jones, NWNL Director & Conservation Photographer
Guides: Harvey Stein, New York City Photographer
Archana Kumar, Native of Bombay and Photographer
Avinash Singh Nathawat, Govt. Approved Guide

“Go with the Ganges”

Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi

Friday, Jan. 27th

Leave NYC for New Delhi

Saturday, Jan. 28: Delhi

Arrive Delhi, capital of India

Overnight: New Delhi

Sunday, Jan. 29: Delhi

City tour of New Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb: World Heritage Site with 3 km of water canals, built on former course of Yamuni River

Overnight: New Delhi

Monday, Jan. 30: Delhi

American Embassy and Indian Exit Visa Office to replace stolen passport

Overnight: New Delhi

Tuesday, Jan. 31: Rajasthan: Delhi, Jodphur, Chandelao

Fly to Jodhpur

Drive through agricultural countryside to Chandelao, small desert village

Chandelao Village: Visit men and women digging new sewer line in dirt street

Visit the “talab” (reservoir – still full from monsoon rains this winter)

Local wedding festivities

Overnight: Chandelao, in a heritage haveli

Tank truck filling up at reservoir

Wednesday, Feb. 1 Rajasthan: Chandelao Village

Chandelao: Visit women gathering water from wells at their doorsteps

  • Visit the “talab” (reservoir)
  • Bird Species Seen: white-cheeked bulbul, red-vented bulbul, long-tailed shrike, rose-ringed parakeet, white-throated kingfisher, black-winged stilt, red-wattled lapwing, peacock

Pipar: Visit Block Print Textile Factory and produce market

Chandelao Village: Visit “raikas” (Hindu shepherd families)

Overnight: Chandelao, in a heritage haveli

Thursday, Feb. 2, Rajathan: Jodphur, Chandelao

Jodphur: Mehrangarh Fort (built c. 1460), in Thar Desert
(Nat’l Geological Monument, part of Malani Igenus Suite)

  • Old City: its bazaar, Clock Tower, ancient plumbing
  • Hanwant Mahal – historic palace
  • Old City of Chand Pol – indigo homes, ancient open-air plumbing

Wildlife seen: blue bull (forest antelope), chinkara (small Asian antelopes), blackbuck

Chandelao Ghar – historic estate with rooftop water-storage towers

Overnight: Chandelao, in a heritage haveli

Cooking dinner, Nagaur Cattle Fair, Rajasthan

Friday, Feb. 3: Rajasthan: Khimsar, Nagaur (near Jodphur)

Khimsar Fort: 16th-c royal castle: Environmental Initiative re water scarcity

  • Reverse osmosis plants filter saline groundwater
  • Rainwater harvesting in reservoirs for Vridhhi Trust

Nagaur Cattle Fair: traders with 70,000 camels and cattle (Deoni, Nagori & Gir)

Government agricultural advisors on fertilizers, planting seasons, tilling, drip irrigation…

Infirmary for wounded, sick and aging cattle

Overnight: Khimsar - heritage haveli

Saturday, Feb. 4: Rajasthan; Khimsar, Nagaur (near Jodphur)

Nagaur: Cattle and Camel Fair: nomadic Hindu Raika shepherds

  • Breeders with Dogri and Punjab Marwari horses

Overnight: Fort Khimsar

Open sewer covered with grate, Agra

Sunday, Feb. 5: Rajasthan: Jaipur (capital of Rajasthan)

Nawa: Salt capital of India

Jobnar: site of important agricultural school

Khania-Balaji (near Jaipur): Khole Ke Temple (aka: The Monkey Temple, or Galta Ji)

  • Hanuman Ji Temple – Hindu pilgrimage site
  • Cascading spring-fed tanks of water
  • Rhesus monkeys and common langurs

Overnight: Jaipur

Monday, Feb. 6: Rajasthan: Jaipur (aka “The Pink City")

Hawa Mahal ("Palace of the Winds")

Tripolia and Johari Bazaars in the Old Town

Lakshmi Misthan Bhnadar

Overnight: Jaipur

Tuesday, Feb. 7: Rajasthan/Uttar Pradesh: Jaipur to Agra (Yamuna/Ganges River Basin)

Drive from Jaipur through farmland to Agra

Agra: City market and open sewers

Taj Mahal Complex (built 1653 by Shah Jahanabad)

  • Tomb for Mumtaz Mahal, with reflecting pools
  • Mosque, Guesthouse and Charbagh (garden)
  • Yamuna River (tributary to the Ganges)

Overnight: Agra

Garden across Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, waiting for restoration

Wednesday, Feb. 8: Uttar Pradesh: Agra and Varanasi (Yamuna/Ganges River Basin)

Agra: Mehtab Bagh, aka Moonlight Garden (16th c.)

  • Taj Mahal sunrise view from Mughal garden
  • Yamuna River: northern shore
  • Varanasi (Benares):
  • City of Lights ghats at night
  • Ganges River ferry

Overnight: Varanasi, Sindhiya Ghat

Thursday, Feb. 9: Uttar Pradesh: Varanasi (Holiest City of India), Ganges River Basin

Ghats: Guided walk: banks of Ganges River, religious site since 2000 BC

Meer Ghat – with red and white steps

Pilgrims and worshippers praying on banks of the Ganges.River

Ganges Fire Aarti: public prayers at Dasashwamedh Ghat (built in 1748)

Overnight: Varanasi, Sindhiya Ghat

Varanasi on the Ganges River at night

Friday, Feb. 10: Uttar Pradesh: Varanasi, Ganges River Basin

Ganges River Sunrise Boat Trip to view birds, bathers, cityscape

Ritual bathing and funeral pyres along banks of Ganges

Manikarnika Kund (pond/well used by mythic Lord Vishu for over 1000 years)

Public Faucets with rules: Never touch the faucet with the left hand, the impure hand with which one washes oneself; never wear cow leather or use soap made with cow fat. One must rub one’s dishes with ashes to wash them.

Jai Three Krishna: Thi Satuwa Baba Ashram: For 300 years providing meals to all

Overnight: Varanasi, Sindhiya Ghat

Saturday, Feb. 11: Uttar Pradesh: Varanasi to Old Delhi (Yamuna/Ganges River Basin)

Drive through farmland of Uttar Pradesh

Old Delhi: streets and rooftop views of Mughal city

Overnight: Old Delhi, in a restored heritage haveli (built 1869)

Pool at Jama Masjid Mosque, Old Delhi

Sunday, Feb. 12: Old Delhi (Yamuna/Ganges River Basin)

Chandni Chowk, street life

  • “Kabutarbazi:” sport of flying of exotic pigeon species
  • Roof-top kite-flying

Overnight: Old Delhi, in a restored heritage haveli (built 1869)

Monday, Feb. 13: Old Delhi (Yamuna/Ganges River Basin)

Jama Masjid, Old Delhi mosque with Asia’s largest courtyard

Red Fort on banks of River Yamuna

Overnight: Fly back to NYC