I always knew that I would love India. The culture, colours, food and people have fascinated me for as long as I can remember and it has always been high on my travel wish list. I was beyond excited when the opportunity to visit came up through work, and I learnt I was to spend a week in the beautiful northern state of Rajasthan. I was there as part of a fundraising trip as my company has built a health centre in the rural community Kalthana.
A big part of this trip was meeting the local village tribes and finding out how the health centre would impact their lives.
We were welcomed into the community with singing and dancing from the local children and we spoke to the locals through a translator. It didn’t feel at all voyeuristic, it felt like an authentic two-way conversation with people who were as interested to learn about us as we were about them.
When we visited Diwali had just finished, so some of the farm animals’ horns were still painted with bright colours. In this rural part of Rajasthan, you’ll see friendly local people wearing brightly coloured saris and turbans seemingly illuminated in the otherwise brown dusty desert.
We also visited the nearby 15th-century Kumbhalgarh Fort which encompasses 365 temples, palaces, gardens and 700 cannon bunkers.
On one of the days, we visited a temple and were surprised by our guide with a lake full of catfish – who are considered a sacred fish to Hindus. People gather around the lake and feed the catfish.
Although the only time I have visited India, it secured the country as my all-time favourite destination (so far). I hope to go back to Rajasthan for a longer time to visit the palaces and temples around the area as well as the many other interesting places throughout the country.