21 November 2016

Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Andhra Predesh, India

On the opposite side of the country from Rajkot; about halfway down the coast; is the eastern port city of Visakhapatnam (or called Vizag for short) in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  My main reason for visiting here was again cricket watching, this time the 2nd test match of India vs. England, this time there was quite a few more locals attending with a crowd of over 20000 people over the weekend.
Apart from watching the cricket, I walked along the quiet local beaches north of the city, stopping for street food, shown below, of noodles fried in an interestingly shaped wok.  The local food is more in the southern indian style, and I ate a lot of the southern style parathas that are definitely one of my favourites, they are crispy on the outside yet stretchy on the inside.  After the cricket has finished I will be getting the train across back to the west coast to retreat to Goa for a good amount of time.

12 November 2016

Rajkot, Gujurat, India

Spent the past five days in Rajkot, the reason being to go and watch the first test of Englands cricket tour of India. It was the first time the Surashtra cricket association stadium; about 12km out of the city; has hosted a test match. Due to this distance outside the city there was a pretty low attendance for the match, with the current crisis of large denomination currency notes being recalled to banks also a factor and major inconvenience.
There was some Barmy Army England fans in the city to see the test, but with Gujurat being a dry state (no alcohol available), I think a few gave it a miss!
One morning I had time to see the Kaba Gandhi No Delo - Gandhi's fathers house, so learnt alot more on the history of his life.
The locals were not used to seeing any tourists in their city so were happy to see and talk to us. In one local restaurant I had to count the sheer number of waitors ready to serve us, I counted at least 16! The Gujurati thali served was very tasty. It is said that Gujurati people have a sweet tooth and this was definetely true with some extremely sugary desserts included in this thali.

6 November 2016

Ahmedabad, Gujurat, India

After going back down to Kolkata from Darjeeling, I flew right across to the west of the country, to Ahmedabad in Gujurat state.
Ahmedabad is a massive city with several sights and mosques in amongst the old part of the city. Here is a view of the market situated around the Bhadra Fort.
In amongst the market I found this colourful stall selling a big selection of 'mukhwas', such as 'til, supuri, paan and amla'. These are various chewing snacks; like seeds and candies; to refresh the mouth and perhaps for helping digestion.
Gandhi lived in Ahmedabad from 1917, where he set up the Sabarmati Ashram, it was very educational to read and see the history of his life displayed around the Ashram.
Whilst in the city I had the chance to try local food, in the way of a vegetarian Gujurati thali, this was a particularly impressive one with a great selection of curries to taste.

28 October 2016

Darjeeling, West Bengal, India

Spent well over a week relaxing up in the cooler climate of Darjeeling. From the hill station town there are vast views of the Himalayas, looking at Khangchendzonga (the 3rd highest mountain in the world). The view was especially brilliant from nearby Tiger Hill at sunrise.
Darjeeling is famous for its toy train, which has operated since 1881, with small steam locomotives still running up and down the hills today.
Have enjoyed trying different food up here, as the locals are mainly Gurkhas; originally from Nepal; so there is Nepalese food aswell as Tibetan and Chinese. Here are some alo momos (potato dumplings) that were tasty.
There is alot to see out around the town, with pleasant walks around the hills.  Wandered out earlier in the week to see red pandas and leopods at the zoo aswell as the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, that had equipment from the first Mount Everest expeditions.  These photos show the Japanese peace pagoda, where again there was great views of the mountains, and finally the Bhutia Busty Gompa monestary.

20 October 2016

Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India

Over five years since I have been to Kolkata, but I remembered I liked the place then so its been good to see more of the city.
Bit of a mix of photos here so i'll start with this shot of rotis beeing made streetside. I forgot how much streetfood is on offer here, I tried beef curry with parathas, tandoori rotis and tarka dahl, chowmein noodles to name a few.
Another common site is the old yellow Ambassador taxis, lining the street here when not in use.
Walking all over the city I saw the Victoria memorial, built to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1901 but not actually finished until some 20 years later.
Abit of a different sight was the Park Street cemetary, that had an array of giant tombs dating back hundreds of years. The tombs were for a wide range of important people, from the surveyor general of india, to army generals and commanders.
Finally; I didn't get to see Eden Gardens five years ago as the England cricket world cup match was rescheduled. There was not much of a crowd today for the Ranji Trophy matcj of Delhi v Karnataka, but still very impressive to see the over 66000 capacity cricket stadium (it was once over 100000 before it was all seating!).