North India: The Bucket List

Trips in the northern states of India, including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

The construction of the Taj Mahal in the 17-th century took 22 years (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Connecting with the White Marble of the Taj Mahal

  The grand finale of my trip to India is neither a massive fort nor a sumptuous palace,  it's a mausoleum: the Taj Mahal. For some of the Indian celebrities interviewed on the occasion of its 350th anniversary (in 2004) the love story was Read More

Maitreya Buddha Statue in Thikse Gompa, Ladakh, India

Learning About Tibetan Buddhism in Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh, India

In the corner of a small, dark room, a monk in red robes sits huddled over a book. In candlelight he shows me pages of neat text in long rows, and explains the writing is Tibetan. The book, like the hundreds of others crammed on the shelves on the Read More

The Karni Mati Temple in Deshnok, India (©photocoen)

Searching for the White Rat in the Karni Mata Temple, India

Can you imagine walking among thousands of rats without freaking out? I couldn't, but I did, anyway. When I was reading my guidebook it sounded exciting, exotic if you like: visiting a rat temple -- a place where thousands of rats can eat, sleep Read More

A Pilgrim Rings the Bell at the entrance of the Amarnath Cave (©Coen Wubbels)

Joining a Hindu Pilgrimage to the Amarnath Cave in India

The ultimate goal is almost in sight: an ice stalagmite. A holy one, mind you. I flop down on an ice-cold stone and vigorously rub my feet, which have turned blue. They lost all feeling after I climbed stone steps without number in subzero Read More