Friday, December 4, 2009


Throughout my travels, I have been filming now and again brief snippets of the things I see. I haven't the means or the patience to organize these clips into anything resembling an actual movie or presentation, but I still thought it might be interesting to look at these clips in their raw form.

I have posted these in chronological order, beginning with a clip from the Nepal/India border. Once I have some more time, I will upload some videos from Nepal as well.

1. As I have written before, Nepali buses are quite chaotic and are often packed with passengers beyond the realm of safe or sane. Indian buses are marginally more organized, but not by much. When we arrived at the border on the Nepali side, the bus leading us to the final border crossing was packed beyond belief. The conductor told us to hop on the roof, or wait for the next bus. We hopped on the roof.

2. Our train to Varanasi arrived at 4:45 in the morning. Here is a clip of us driving through the city during the early morning, still half asleep.

3. That very same morning, we took a sunrise boat ride along the Ganga River. Among the many things we saw was an early morning yoga class taking place on the ghats.

4. These boys were playing cricket on a dusty construction site.

5. Here is a clip of the river worship ceremony in Varanasi. As you can see, it is quite noisy and overwhelming. There are also many people watching from boats along the River Ganga.

6. The Ganga Arti ceremony is a spectacle in every sense of the word. Here you can see the sadhus doing what they do best, which is to sit around and be holy. You can also see the tourists doing what they do best, which is to take photos and gawk.

7. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is by far my favorite place in India. This first clip shows what the temple looks like from across the reflecting pool. You can also hear the beautiful prayer hymns that are projected throughout the temple grounds. When I filmed this clip, I was unaware that the music was being performed live inside the very temple I was filming.

8. Here is a brief clip of devotees walking through the gate that leads to the main temple. Again, you can hear the prayer hymns in the background.

9. Sikhism's holiest book is called the Guru Granth Sahib. Every single night, a group of volunteers will carry this book from the Golden Temple to another room where it resides safely until the next morning. This ceremony is very interesting because it is performed organically in that there is no performance or set time line of actions. Everyone is allowed to participate, and everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the holy book.

10. The langar is the free communal eating hall that is found in every gurdwara, or Sikh temple. As you can imagine, many thousands of devotees eat at this hall every single day at the Golden Temple. Here are two short videos of the langar. The first shows the dish washing area, and the second shows the beginning, where you pick up your silverware and plate before entering the hall.


12. Near Amritsar is the Wagah border crossing that separates Pakistan and India. Every night, there is a ridiculous ceremony where the guards from each country march around and try to intimidate one another. Patriots from each country come and cheer along. Here is a brief snippet from this ceremony.

13. In Rishikesh, we were lucky enough to catch two free concerts. The first concert featured the sitar. This guy was a real shredder. He and his son both played very fast. Here are two videos of them shredding.

14. More shredding.

15. The next night we saw a concert which featured the tabla. This guy's fingers may have moved even faster than the fingers of the sitar player the night before. I also really like the odd melody that went along with the tabla playing. The instrument on the left is called the harmonium, and is similar in many ways to the accordion.

16. Here is a close up of more tabla playing.

17. Here is a clip from the ganga arti ceremony in Haridwar. This ceremony was quite different from the one in Varanasi, as you can see.

18. Before we saw the river ceremony, we watched monkeys being monkeys. Why are monkeys always up to no good!?

19. Delhi is a very busy city. Here is a video of me walking down the street.

20. Agra is also a very busy city! Here is me walking through the bazaar. Note the pooch standing on the roof..

21. We took an overnight train from Agra to Bundi. When I woke up in the morning, the door of the train was wide open. I peered outside and saw the sunrise. Pretty!

22. I think this is my favorite video. It is me wandering through the crumbling fort in Bundi. It is called the Star Fort. At the end of the clip you can see all of Bundi below.

23. Bundi had a very serious wild monkey problem. Here are some more monkeys up to no good on the lawn of our guest house.

And that's it for now! I have many more videos to upload from Nepal. Hopefully I can get them up soon!


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