When you live in India for a while, a quite common question to get is if you have travelled around a bit and seen much of the country. I have been around and seen some of it, but never really bragged about it or thought about where I have been and at how many places. But maybe it is time to do a quick round up of the places where I have been, and what I have seen at different places.
India has 28 states. If I have counted correctly, I have been at 9 or 10 of them. If I do it in chronological order over the duration of a few years, this is approximately the states and places I have been to.
Maharashtra – I will never ever forget the first day I ever came to India. I think it was back in 2007 or 2008. I landed in Mumbai with a friend of me from Norway one day in August. And it was raining. It was raining like crazy! We had a pickup at the airport and our hotel was in Pali Hill in Bandra, for those of you who know the area. And the distance between those two places is not that huge. But the car had to take a number of detours in order to get there. I remember I thought: “please, please, I don’t want it to be like this for my whole vacation”. Luckily it wasn’t like this for the whole vacation, and now I have been at a number of places in Maharashtra.
Rajasthan – At the same holiday, we took the train from Mumbai to Jaipur, which is off course in Rajasthan. I do remember this as some of the best places in India. Rajasthan is a state that I really like. Off course I was also back in Rajasthan last Easter, when we visited Jodhpur, Udaipur and Mount Abu. All of them really lovely places in different ways. After having been twice in Rajasthan I still haven’t been to Jaisalmer, which many people say is the best place in Rajasthan. Maybe I have to go back there some time soon.
New Delhi – I have been to the capital New Delhi a couple of times. And I do think that is actually a separate state. Is it ok to say that I don’t really like that place? Mumbai is no problem to me, but I do feel that Delhi is hotter, dirtier and also that the hassle for tourists is more in Delhi than what I feel in Mumbai. Sorry for those who are from there, but this is how my experience with the place have been.
Uttar Pradesh – This is also a state I have visited a few times. I have been to Agra two times I think, and seeing Taj Mahal is off course something you just “have to do” when in India. Last year I visited the state again, when I travelled to Varanasi.
Andhra Pradesh – Two times I think I have been to Hyderabad. This is where Naandi have its head quarter, and both times I have been there in relation to that organization. I remember very well the second time I was there. I was staying at a colleagues place and celebrated Christmas in Hyderabad. At Christmas Eve we went to a home for orphans and handed out Christmas gifts. Surely the best and most meaningful Christmas I have ever had.
Uttarakhand – This is also a state I visited some years back. We went to Risikesh and Haridwar as tourist in a cold January day. Both places are sacred places for the Hindus and the river Ganges flow through both places. I really enjoyed the nature over there. Maybe the place in India I have been to that remain me the most about Norway?
Tamil Nadu – Chennai is the place I celebrated Christmas last to last year. Will never forget a 5 am trip to that beach!
Kerala – Ok. THIS is maybe my favorite place in India. Being at a house boat there during the dragon boat race last year was just fantastic. And so relaxing it is to be on a boat and just roam around at the channels there. Love it.
Goa – Everyone goes to Goa, don’t they?
During the Easter this year, a friend of me from Norway will come to India. We will spend one day in Bangalore, which is in Karnataka, so that will surely be a new state for me.
In addition to this, I think I must have crossed Gujarat on in train on my way to Jaipur. We went to a tiger safari some time back, and it might be that we actually crossed the border to Madhya Pradesh at that time. But as I’m not that sure, I wouldn’t mention it. And do I cross any other states to get to Varanasi? I don’t really know
Talk to you soon