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Kumbh Mela - The world’s wonder in my own backyard - the world’s largest pilgrimage destination, a giant gathering of pilgrims, godmen and Naga sadhus. I had to see it!
But how? I had no tickets, no plans, no information, no money and no clue - but the Patron Saint of Idiots blessed me.
A series of miracles - the world’s strangest job interview, a miserable unreserved train journey, serendipitous stays - got me to the Kumbh Mela - and then onward to the holy city of Varanasi.
Before this trip, I lost my backpacking virginity in an epic off-the-cuff trip to East India. We escaped our office cubicles to bumble through Bengal and thereabouts - from Calcutta to Kamakhya! We explored historical cities, ‘Shangri La’s in the mountains, forgotten palaces, old war zones, ancient tantric temples and wild jungles full of rhinos and elephants.
The Patron Saint of Idiots had a full time job taking care of us! - we missed trains, lost our reservations, got drunk….and even blundered into ancient minefields with unexploded mines
Hilarious, informative and inspirational - this is the Indian travel story you need to read.
Ketan Joshi is the author of the best-selling ‘Three men on motorcycles’ series, and has explored India extensively on foot and on two wheels.