Hijras at the Becharaji Temple

  India is a land of paradoxes. No other example illustrates this statement better than the experience of the transgender community (hijras). As a group, they have been worshipped for centuries, and have held positions of power in religious circles and as queen’s guards. However, they are also one of the most exploited communities, as…

Aaravali Trails

The Garasia Community One of the most impactful moments of the trip for me was when we visited the Garasia people in Northern Gujarat in the Aravalli mountains. We left our resort early in the morning and traveled in jeeps through rural villages and beautiful landscapes for about half an hour before we arrived at…

Jain Temple

India is a multi-religious country. Out of the total of more than 1.2 billion population of India in 2011, 80% of Hindus, 14% of Muslims and 0.4% of Jains. There is no doubt that Jainism is a minor religion in modern India. Jainism is mainly worshiped by merchant class because it is easy to worship…

The Modhera Sun Temple

The Sun Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Surya in the Modhera village of Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. The monument is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India and does not currently offer any worship. The Modhera Sun Temple was built after 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chaulukya dynasty….

Gandhi Ashram

Gandhi Ashram is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on the banks of the River Sabarmati. It was there that Gandhi led the Dandi March on March 12th 1930 and the Indian government established this place as a national monument because of the influence that the march had. The Gandhi Ashram is…

Rann Riders

Our first experience in Northern Gujarat began with our arrival at Rann Riders, a resort that Niyati co-owned with a local prince. As we descended from the bus, we were greeted by the Mir community. The Mirs are nomadic group whose ancestors were people of central europe. They make their living by selling merchandise that…

A Pakistani Takes on India

I thought I would stick out like a sore thumb. I was a Pakistani Muslim, about to enter the country I’d been warned about all my life. My grandma lived through Partition, she was 4 years old in 1947 and I’ve been hearing the horror stories about the violence, the war, the separation between Hindus…