Almost 12 years ago, I made my first trip to India, with a husband and two ‘tweens in tow. Together, we explored the princely palaces of Rajasthan, braved the bazaars of Mumbai, and breathed the mists rolling off the tea plantations of Darjeeling. We rode camels in the desert, spotted tigers in a nature preserve, watched the sunrise kiss Everest’s storied peak, and rocked-in the New Year in Delhi. Three weeks of sensory overload showed me only a sliver of all that is India, and I knew that I needed to return.
This month I’ll be back, sans children and husband (who are decidedly jealous). Under the guidance of Calgary Food Tours‘ Karen Anderson, I’ll be sampling Wazwan cuisine in Delhi, and Awadhi cuisine in Lucknow; learning the secrets of Chettiyar cooking in a chef’s kitchen and serving pilgrims in a community kitchen in Amritsar. We’ll explore Hinduism on the bank of the Ganges, Buddhism at Sarnath, Sikhism at the Punjab’s Golden Temple, and Islam in the architecture of the Mughals. We’ll practice yoga on the ghats of Varanasi and near the ashrams of Rishikesh. While we’re there, the whole country will explode with fireworks for Diwali – and we’re invited to the party.
It promises to be amazing.
Text © 2015 Catherine Van Brunschot