Mother Ganga here we come!!
Our next trip will be to India and following the Ganges from its birth in the Himalaya to its outlet in the ocean near Calcutta. In one month time we will follow this sacred river and life giver to 300.000.000 people (1/3 of Indian population) on a Royal Enfield.
But why would we go to India? Well, first of all Mandy hasn’t been there before and she wants to see if she is a lover. After hearing so many times, ‘one will love or hate India, she want to see and experience India for herself. Mandy definitely thinks she is a lover though. And off course the culture, people, colors and land of India are attractive to a photographers eye and a curious mind. And for Pieter? He can drive a Royal Enfield in India! Isn’t that enough….?
Okay, India it is, so then we will drive the scenic Himalaya state of Yammu and Kashmir, like the many other tourists? Or the charming and relaxed southern part of India with its beautiful beaches, backwaters and romantic hills? Yes, that would definitely be good, but no, we don’t go there. We go to the Ganges!
The plan is to go from Kathmandu by bus and train to Delhi. In Delhi we want to buy one motorbike. We love the legendary Indian motorcycle brand Royal Enfield. The Royal Enfield Bullet is one of our favorite bikes and we it would be a dream for us to do this journey through India on this famous Indian legend.
Did the Indian ministry of Ganga Rejuvenation ask us to help cleaning? Nope, they didn’t.
The Ganges delta is not immediately on many peoples mind when you think off a trip in India. That could be because, despite the fertile land, this part of India is known for its extreme poverty. With 1/3 of the Indian population living in these river plains, we expect the trip to be very chaotic. The Ganges is not a holiday place compared to the more touristy states in India, but if you want adventure it is the place to be.
We Want adventure! We want to experience and tell the story about the fascinating Ganges. Or Mother Ganga as she is called. At the Ganges two major world religions has seen their birth: Buddhism and Hinduism. This makes the Ganges a cultural heritage site. It is not out of the bleu that this river is the most sacred river in Hinduism and many devotes come to its shores to pray, for a swim or a drink. Yes, drink and swim in the most polluted river on earth. Why? That’s what we hope to find out. What place has religion in the lives of Indians? How come they pollute their most worshiped river, on which they also depend for their water needs? And we also hope to find how people in this immense populated area live with and depend on the water of the Ganges.
India is a gigantic land with many different faces, but we believe that Indian culture, tradition, beauty of the land (and water) and a good sense of adventure come together at the Ganges.
Well, we don’t like to plan that much actually. We rather leave it a bit open and see what will come on the way. So, in short our plan is to go to India, buy a motorbike there and drive our way into adventure.
With our visa secure in our pockets we will go to India in the first week of November. The plan is to go from Kathmandu by bus and train to Delhi. In Delhi we want to buy one motorbike. We love the legendary Indian motorcycle brand Royal Enfield. The Royal Enfield Bullet is one of our favorite bikes and we it would be a dream for us to do this journey through India on this famous Indian legend. We don’t know where or how exactly, but in Delhi we are going to search for a second hand Bullet in good condition that fits within our small budget. We think it is great to leave Kathmandu with just two bags and not much idea where we will find our motorbike for the trip.
A family of 5 people on a motorbike in India is no exception. We will keep it with two though. In contrast with our trip to Mongolia, this time we will go together on one bike. With the expectation of crazy busy and chaotic Indian roads we think on one bike it is easier not to lose each other every hour. It would also be twice as expensive and another advantage is that Mandy can concentrate more on her photography instead of chasing Pieter while trying to avoid cows, holes and driving into the Ganges. Well, as she is not driving herself with Pieter on the backseat.
The source of the Ganges is in Devaprayag in the Himalaya, here two smaller subsidiary rivers join to form the Ganges. From Delhi we will go north to this holy place that will mark the start for our Ganges trip. But not before we take a dip here in the still pure water of the holy Ganges for she may protect our trip.
We Want adventure! We want to experience and tell the story about the fascinating Ganges. Or Mother Ganga as she is called. At the Ganges two major world religions has seen their birth: Buddhism and Hinduism. This makes the Ganges a cultural heritage site. It is not out of the bleu that this river is the most sacred river in Hinduism and many devotes come to its shores to pray, for a swim or a drink.
The Ganges is around 2500 kilometers long and we plan on driving its roads around three weeks. In the mean time we will visit the big cities on its banks, like Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna and Varanasi. Yes, Varanasi, the most holy city of India. The place known for its millions of Hindu devotes who come for a dip. And the holiest place for a Hindu to be cremated.
But we will also see the villages, the plains, the farmers and fishermen. Who knows we might even see one of the six remaining Ganges Dolphins and take a swim together. Now is our chance, it may even be our last chance.
In the end, after 2500 kilometers and three weeks after our departure from Delhi, there will be Calcutta and not much further the ocean. The dispatch of the Ganges in the Ocean will be our destination this time!
Of course, we will keep you updated as much as possible through our website, our newsletter (subscribe on our homepage) and social Media.
India, Mother Ganga, here we come!