A Long Haul North

Aurangabad, India

Tonight marks the beginning of a course in Vipassana meditation I have chosen to undergo. Part of the package is 10 days without communication of any kind and therefore radio silence for my journaling. Before I begin I wanted to share a brief photo-essay of the 4-day journey up to Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

With a brief intermission to explore the famed caves of Ellora, it was a marathon spread between sleeper buses, trains and a final stint in “general”, the unassigned seating option in passenger trains where I experienced a new blend of Indian bedlam. Aided at every step of the way by welcoming families, humble individuals and patient tellers, I cannot speak highly enough of the warm character shown to me by the Indian people.

Bibi Ka Maqbara is often considered the little brother of the Taj Mahal for its striking resemblance. It was built late in the 17th century as a memorial for Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's first wife, Dilras Banu Begum.

Bibi Ka Maqbara is often considered the little brother of the Taj Mahal for its striking resemblance. It was built late in the 17th century as a memorial for Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's first wife, Dilras Banu Begum.

Exquisite marble carvings line the interior of Bibi Ka Maqbara One of the Ellora cave temples: The stunning 'Carpenters Cave', a Buddhist cathedral and acoustic masterpiece thought to have been carved in the 8th century

To the left, exquisite marble carvings line the interior of Bibi Ka Maqbara. To the right, one of the Ellora cave temples: The stunning 'Carpenters Cave', a Buddhist cathedral and acoustic masterpiece thought to have been carved in the 8th century.

Piled into a train with a wedding party en route to Jodhpur. Arms, legs and children strewn everywhere and, though not visible in the photograph, people packed into the rafters above our heads as well

Piled into a train with a wedding party en route to Jodhpur. Arms, legs and children strewn everywhere and, though not visible in the photograph, people packed into the rafters above our heads as well.