My India trek  Nov 1973 - Feb 1974   John van der Woude

My first trip outside Europe was to India - at the age of 23, I just wanted to see a totally different country than Holland! Three months time I had, in the middle of winter. This was possible as my study was concentrated more around summer fieldwork that year.

I was invited to stay my first two weeks at friends of my parents, in the centre of South India. This was at the small town of Guledgudd, Karnataka, where they worked at a leprosy hospital. I walked and cycled a lot around in the countryside, and I could not have had a better introduction to the rural life of India. Also, they took me out to some Dravidian temples nearby.

From there I slowly went along the West coast (Goa to Mangalore) and up in the Nilgiris, down to the backwaters of Kerala. Then I crossed over to Tamil Nadu. I stayed some time in Pondicherry, where I met with several Westerners. With one month to go, I took the train from Madras to Agra in Northern India. Then I went along Delhi (Republic Day) to the lower Himalayas, including a stay at the university campus of Chandigarh.

I made a lot of photos, all black-and-white, with my simple Beirette camera, using Orwo films (which were for sale in India too). 
As I hardly ever saw anybody taking photos, I think that my photos can provide some interesting material about this rather pre-industrialised period of India.

The photos are on the next pages:
  Guledgudd and surroundings in central Karnataka (Bijapur district)
  Karnataka - other places in central Karnataka
  Goa to Mangalore - coastal scenes
  Mercara -  their yearly stick dance ceremony
  Mysore city and surroundings
  Ooty (Ootacamund) - in the Nilgiri mountains
  Kerala - the backwaters
  Tamil Nadu - Mahaballipuram, Madras, etc.
  Pondicherry - the former French colony, with the Aurobindo ashram
  Agra - Taj Mahal, then still very quiet
  Delhi - the parades of Republican Day Jan. 1974
  Chandigarh -  Le Corbusier's university town
  Himalayas  -  several towns, incl. Rishikesh and Dharmsala
  other - photos from unknown locations, and price list of food etc.
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