Days 3-5 Jaisalmer/Thar Desert
Like a city risen from the desert sands, Jaisalmer's sand-coloured buildings, busting bazaars and fascinating living fort all help give the city a wonderful old-world feel. (Trip Notes)
In the summer of 2013 I spent a month in India beginning with a three week Intrepid North India Unplugged tour and ending with almost a week in Kolkata. I was very lucky to have Monty Bhatt (2015 World Guide Award Winner) as our tour guide on this "basic" trip. Basic in Intrepid travel terms means local trains, buses, tuk-tuks, rickshaws and basic accommodation- home-stays and guesthouses. We got a true sense of India and got to partake in lots of Indian everyday life. The tour has changed slightly and can be found here. Monty has since set up his own company Undiscovered India Travel.
You will see from my account and photos, that Monty or Intrepid Travel are a great way to visit India.
Days 1-2 Delhi
Discover the beating heart of Old Delhi - its narrow streets burst with stores selling silk, copper and spices. Board an overnight sleeper train and head towards Rajasthan. (Trip Notes)
First Train Journey
When Ms Treacy was in primary school Mother Teresa of Calcutta featured prominently in the media and in our religion books as an example of a living saint. Calcutta is now Kolkata and Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 but her memory lives on particularly in the hearts of Irish people.
Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in Eastern Europe but came to Dublin at the age of 18 to join the Loreto Order. After a year learning English she traveled to India and worked in the schools of the Sisters of Loreto in Calcutta. After a time, she felt she needed to do more and set up her own order: The Missionaries of Charity. You can read all about St Teresa here
In 2013 I visited Mother House where St Teresa began her work. There is an excellent display outlining the history of the saints' life. You can also view her room and see some of the convent which is still in use today. St Theresa's tomb is there and all visitors can take a medal and flower petals from the tomb. I found it to be a very special place, especially as she was such an inspirational woman as I was growing up.
Shantaram Gregory David Roberts