The stench of history and the detritus of millennia assailed me as I picked my way gingerly towards the boat at the water’s edge of the ghat. This spiritual place of pilgrimage and prayer has long fascinated me but I had never been in my adult life. Varanasi is almost in the centre of northern India but even today though accessible by train it only has a limited connection by air which is a shame.
For many years I have known that to write about India without visiting the Punjab and its great icon The Golden Temple, holy place of the Sikh Religion, was missing out on something very important to millions of Indian people not only in India but also in the Indian diaspora.Graham and I took the Shatabdhi to Amritsar in February 2009.
Leaning out from the Jeep, looking down at the very fresh pug marks of a tiger made the hair on my neck stand up. I looked around as the peacock continued his shrill alarm. The sambar too was 'belling' and alerting the jungle that tiger was on the move; I chanced to look behind and there she was, a wonderful tigress crossing the track about thirty feet away!