Pictures of India
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Pictures of India: India's top photo site

1000 high quality digital pictures, photos of India with a short description and maps
of the highlights and interesting destinations.

 

India: land of extremes

 

 

This picture, taken on Elephanta island,

close to Mumbai,

depicts

the Hindu Trimurti:

the three faces of God.

 

But India itself

has also three faces:

 

  1. Incredible India. The rich and creative past in which culture and art blossomed and many great temples have been built. Examples are Hampi and Mahabalipuram. But also the still not destroyed or contaminated nature as in some national parks like Periyar. The paradise like beaches, as some beaches in Goa. The beautiful and very colorful girls and women.
     

  2. Terrible India. The dirt, garbage and poverty you see almost everywhere, especially in the overcrowded cities. The difficult (for Western tourists) public transport with trains and buses. The repression of the women and sexuality is the root cause of many problems facing India made even worse by the inefficient and mostly stupid bureaucracy and the widespread corruption. I experienced India by far as the MOST tourist unfriendly and expensive country I have visited in Asia! This fact is also confirmed by the Department of Tourism in the newspaper article: 'Incredible' India now hard to believe. And to be honest India doesnít have any real incredible places. Even the Taj Mahal you will have seen in about one hour. I spend 13 full days in Bagan, Myanmar with the 2200 magnificent temples and 7 full days in Angkor, Cambodia and didnít see all there, to give a few examples of other Asian countries. A good example of Terrible India is my visit to Tamil Nadu's main tourist attraction Madurai.
     

  3. Spiritual India. India has had an impressive past as a spiritual country with many great spiritual teachers, as Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Neem Karoli Baba, Osho, Krishnamurti and many others. There are many yoga centers and ashrams, as in Pondicherry and Auroville. But most of the time they are visited by Western people who come for spiritual wisdom. As a famous Guru in Rishikesh told: "The Western people come for spiritual wisdom and enlightenment, the Indian people for money or a job". India is turning quickly into a more materialistic country. You can find an excellent report of a spiritual journey in Rishikesh on my spiritual journeys site.

 

In this website you will get an impression of all these three faces of India. This website is only about Southern India but I have visited India ten times during the last thirty years, so the conclusions I have made and the suggestion I do come from a thirty year period of traveling through Asia.

 

The pictures are arranged in a kind of slideshows, combined with commentary. In this way the photos will give you a good impression of India and the extremes you will encounter during your visit. It are mostly unique photos of India, because they are taken with the most advanced digital camera today with an incredible 26 times optical zoom. I have used also the most advanced digital photo enhancement software to give you the best possible impression of India. Although the pictures are of the Southern part of India, many of the photos could have been taken in other places in India too. They are not specific for South India.

 

 

I hope you will enjoy your virtual journey through India.

 

Some general information (Source Wikipedia)

 

India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. India has 1/6th of the world population.
Home to the Indus Valley Civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history.
Four major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated there.
Economic reforms since 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies, however, India still suffers from high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition.

 

'Incredible' India now hard to believe   (excerpts from Indian newspapers)

 

Click on the picture to read the whole article

 

HARDSHIP DESTINATION "India is not giving value for money," said Himmat Anaix, the MD of Diethelm Travel India. "There is an ostrich mentality amongst us when we say everything is alright."
But some tour operators are frustrated by what they see as the government's failure; to address the sector's relatively slow progress compared to other destinations. It rankles that smaller Asian rivals such as Thailand, which ranks at number 18 in the foreign tourist arrival rankings, and Malaysia, at 11, are far ahead of the south Asian giant.
"What is there in Malaysia? What is there in Thailand?" asked Sujit Banerjee, the secretary of the Ministry of Tourism at a crisis meeting for the tourism sector in January.

Tour operators say India is seen as a 'hardship destination' even as hotels in major cities charge up to Rs 19,500 (325 Euro or 423 US dollar) a night.
ďIf you land at the airport and if it takes you an hour-and-a-half to get your bags and then you have to fight in a taxi queue that is not really the kind of experience you want a customerĒ Shringi of  Yatra.com said.

The Department of Tourism of the State Government has planned to spend over Rs.30 crore to strengthen infrastructure facilities in some of the towns in the State to attract more visitors throughout the year. While serious efforts were being made to provide all basic amenities, the department was also gradually creating a congenial atmosphere to the guests by bringing about a complete attitudinal change in the minds of auto and taxi drivers, hoteliers, traders, etc
Yet another major drive has been initiated by the department to ensure cleanliness at every point of tourist destinations, particularly on temple premises and beaches, Mr. Rajaram said.

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My comment: Of course I completely agree with this and especially with: by bringing about a complete attitudinal change in the minds of auto and taxi drivers, hoteliers, traders, etc.
But here we have the whole Indian problem is the inability to change. I have analyzed the root cause of this problem, because you can only solve a problem if you solve the root cause. In 30 years I didnít see any substantial change in the tourist business. Even the most simple item as the infamous: "No change" (this says it all!!) especially in the morning, because most business will start without any money. How many times in a day  will you hear this as a tourist in India?
Sujit Banerjee, the secretary of the Ministry of Tourism asked before: "What is there in Malaysia? What is there in Thailand?" The answer is simple, go and visit these countries and you will come from the Indian hell in the Thai or Malaysian heaven. EVERYTHING is so much BETTER THERE, there is even no comparison possible.
But isnít incredible that the secretary of the Ministry of Tourism doesnít know the answer!! How can you attract more tourists as you don't even know the much better way it is done in these other countries?  (Note I am speaking from a 30 year experience traveling through Asia)!

 

More detailed information about Incredible - Terrible India

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Pictures of Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam, Egypt and Myanmar

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