india vol 2 - Sleeping with the monkeys

The main highlight of this India trip is to attend Hanika's wedding, our dear colleague in Mumbai. After we had our yoga practices in Rishikesh, we drove 4 hours up north to spend a night first in Kiratpur and visit the bride's family before we headed to Chandigarh, the home town of the groom.

You may never heard of Kiratpur, I doubt even Lonely Planet would have a spot for it, don't get me wrong though, it's a lovely little rural village in Uttar Pradesh Province, people here are friendly and live a humble life. I don't blame Lonely Planet for not drawing a spot for this city, if you are in India for only a short period of time, Kiratpur may not serve the purpose of a backdrop of magnificent Islamic Mosques nor exotic Hindu temples nor shuubiiduubii bollywood stages but the simplicity and warm hospitality of the locals made this little village one of my best visits in India.

Ladies and kids chanting down their way

As it is located in the rural area, electricity supply is limited. Lesson #2, don't expect Air-Conditioning is a MUST wherever you go. On this really hot day, despite we were more than excited to meet the beautiful bride-to-be, but we still need a good amount of time to get use of the heat in Hanika's house. My rashes is getting worse and I made a really wrong decision for wearing a spaghetti top, because a majority of residents in the village are Muslims, women should not be wearing revealing clothings. Hanika is very nice to lend me one of her suits, so I can let my arms enjoy some fresh air without worrying offending the locals. Lesson #3, be aware of your dress code in India.

Hanika wanted to take us out to shop for some nice bangles in the local market, but it was a Sunday and was a Muslim rest day so we did not have any luck. But her aunt, cousin and little niece Brenda, joined us and we went for a walk to the Hanuman (Monkey God) Dham. On the way back we passed by a train station, there are children playing along the empty tracks at the end of the platform, wearing barely anything, but that does not bother them at all. This little girl, who doesn't look that much older from the younger baby in her arms wanted to join, but she seems a little shy. I secretly prayed they would stay as happy as they are and always wearing the same bright smile as they grow.

Kiratpur Train Station

The train waiting to leave

The only stores that are open that day

The cousins and Brenda showing off their bike in front of the locals

We also passed by an area which seems to be a resting spot for the indigenous people. It looks quite hippy to me in a sense that they are burning woods and setting up fire in the middle of the town. You saw old people resting on their DIY "wooden caravan", they somehow look a bit different from the locals.. just cannot explain and was quite frightened to take any pictures of them.. oh yes, I think I have to say they look a little bit hostile and not as welcoming as the locals. There is no Lesson #4 here, only if I take pictures without their permission.. maybe I will learn something new.

After we had dinner with Hanika's hundreds and ten lovely relatives, we are assigned to stay in one of the rooms on the ground floor. However the heat was really too suffocating and we'd rather join the rest of the cousins exploring the gift from the nature. 

The living room with the lovely Krishna Calendar
Little Brenda!

We slept on the terrace under the sky with gazillion stars! Coming from the big city, I have never ever saw a sky full of stars.. and hello.. i mean FULL of stars, like the blinking little spots occupied even more space than the boring black background! It is such a vivid picture that I will never ever forget. 

We woke up at 4am in the morning to wash up, not only I saw shooting stars in the sky when I opened my eyes, but there are monkeys hoping around the terrace as well! The monkey family was over to say good-bye to our bride-to-be and of course to woke the sleepyheads up to get ready!

Our bed for the night! Don't worry that is just the dancing Brenda and a little monkey.

My travel buddy waiting for the coach to come

All packed and ready!


  1. U rock!! I'm not brave enough to travel to India T_T



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