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Photos from India - Landscapes of Kerala and Rajasthan - Asia Photographs - India Images

Kerala, “land of coconuts” is the appropriate name for this thin strip of land in the south west of India. Tall lush coconut palms line the coast but as one travels inland up to the Western Ghats, slowly they are replaced by plantations of tea, coffee and spices; pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and a whole wealth of others. In between may be the humble banana and cashew nut, and down on the flat plains fields of rice. Kerala is therefore a land rich in natural resources and beauty.

Kerala’s beauty takes many forms, the coastal strip where small tourist resorts occupy the land near bustling ports and picturesque fishing villages. The backwaters wind their way inland. Here converted rice barges slowly wend their way down sleepy channels carrying entranced tourists from far off lands. On the banks of the channels, village women seem to endlessly wash their family’s clothes and children wave and shout with glee at the foreign faces that return their warmth and charm. What appear to be sleepy villages, turn out to be fascinating places with beautiful mosques or churches and charming bungalows and houses which may provide an overnight stay for the weary traveller. Villagers go about their daily lives in local industries using the coconut husks to spin into rope.

They say there is nowhere like India and so this is true of this tropical paradise. Bustling towns like Munnar in the Western Ghats are full of fascinating faces and jostling crowds. The market overflows with local produce and restaurants feed the mass of people with spicy curries. Back down on the coast splendid seafood is cooked from the day’s catch and if you need entertaining the kathakali dance with dazzling, painted dancers is a daily event in Cochin.

Kerala has all the things that make India an amazing spectacle; colour, vibrant people, street events, religious mysticism, decorated elephants, beautiful scenery and for the photographer a never ending opportunity to take that shot of a lifetime.

Rajasthan, the largest state in India is situated in the north west of the country and encompasses a large amount of the Thar Desert. The state has some of the greatest and most colourful cities in the Indian subcontinent. Jaipur, the largest and state capital is known as the pink city. This is a sprawling, vibrant city with beautiful palaces, havelis and the Amber Fort just nearby. The city remains uniquely Indian, with elephants, cattle and camel trucks still to be seen amongst the hurly burly of the busy city centre.

Bikaner to the north is the red city being built of deep red sandstone. Standing proudly above the city is the magnificent Junagadh Fort. This is also a city bursting with colour, life and commercial activity. Worth a visit is the camel breeding centre where a variety of camels are reared to suit differing purposes.

On the western edge of the state is the yellow city of Jaisalmer standing high above the sprawling, stark desert below. Jaisalmer Fort dominates the citadel and intricately carved havelis line winding lanes.

Jodhpur, the blue city and second largest city of Rajasthan is a bustling trading centre for wood, cattle, camels, handicrafts and a multitude of other goods. The Meherangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace dominate this beautiful and beguiling city.

To the south is the white city of Udaipur standing on Lake Pichola. Its palaces and forts give a feeling of grandeur and splendour to this most fascinating city.

Although the cities of Rajasthan are the destination of thousands of tourists there are many other smaller jewels set in the desert landscape which are more than worth a visit. Nawalgarh and Mandawa in the Shekawati district for example are rich in beautifully decorated havelis, once the home of rich merchants but now sadly falling on harder times and a shadow of their former glory. Kishangarh is a busy little town with its magnificent fort and lakeside palace now sadly left to fall into disrepair but a reminder of the splendour that once existed there.

But perhaps the greatest jewels are the people of Rajasthan who despite hardships and some poverty are always to be seen with smiling faces and friendly greetings. The women in their vividly coloured saris and men full of enterprise and charm bring warmth to match that of the desert heat.

An Eldorado at faces and colours for the photographer to made his photos. The abundance of the impressions comes especially in the colour photography to validity.


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