Hello, friends and family! I am currently writing to you from the beautiful city of New Delhi, the capital of Republic of India. I am setting up my first-ever travel blog so that I can share the best of the best of this journey with you. The title of this blog is inspired entirely from a book named India Calling. It’s a fantastic book that captures the intricacies of modern India through the perspective of author Anand Girdharadas, who is an American-raised Indian and a former strategy consultant that traveled to India to better connect with his motherland, India. Sound familiar?!
For this blog, I have simply one mission: to keep my readers engaged and eager to come back for more! I will aim to focus the posts on the best sights, stories, travel tips, and cultural experiences. All photos that appear on this blog will be taken from my camera (aka phone).
Now, let’s get started!
The Journey (in 5 questions)
Me! For the purpose of this trip, the most important part of identity is that my family is originally from the Indian state of Rajasthan.
I am traveling to India to participate in the Jaane Apna Rajasthan (JAR) program. JAR, also known as Know Your Rajasthan, is a newly founded program that targets non-resident Rajasthani youth (between 18 and 28 years of age) that wish to learn more about their heritage.
JAR has organized a full 10-day itinerary for a small group to travel throughout the State of Rajasthan. Some of the most interesting activities on this trip include:
• Visits to major historical places
• Stays in ancestral and rural villages
• Exploration of deserts and wildlife sanctuaries
• Tour of major industrial projects and factories
• Meetings with NGOs, universities, gov’t officials, and distinguished village personalities
I have extended the JAR travel itinerary by 11 more days. This affords me the opportunity to visit extended family and travel to other Indian states.
Through the gracious support of the Rajasthan Foundation, JAR will be covering 90% of the round-trip flight expenses to India. JAR will also provide housing, transportation, food and a small Per Diem for out-of-pocket expenses. Quick shout-out to my uncle, for introducing me to the JAR program.
New Delhi (5 days) – The capital city of the Republic of India, with over 17 million residents (second most in India)
State of Rajasthan (10 days) – The land of Rajputs, or “kings”, and the largest state by area in India. Visits to the following cities: Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranakpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh Fort, Alwar
Goa (4 days) – A small, coastal state in West India that brings in over 2 million visitors per year.World-renowned for its favorable climate, excellent beaches, party atmosphere, and world heritage architecture.
Bangalore (2 days) – Third most populous city In India, and is located in the state of Karnataka. Known for being the central hub for India’s IT sector.
From mid-December 2012 to early January 2013.
I hope to realize the benefits from JAR’s primary objective (in their words):
“To instill a sense of pride and respect in the hearts of the Non-Resident Rajasthani Youth towards the glorious heritage, cultural splendor and exquisite architecture of the State and at the same time acquaint them with Modern Characters of Rajasthan with its economic, educational, technological and industrial progress so that they develop affinity and affection with the land of their ancestors.”
I also plan to take this opportunity to re-connect with my extended family in India.
I will work diligently to earn your readership and I am excited to share my journey with you! I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback, along with your patience while I work to incorporate them into future posts.
I’ll be right back,
India is Calling