"We think we're going to make a trip, but soon it's the trip that makes you, or undoes you.Nicolas Bouvier. The Indian universe is made up of beliefs and devotion. When today's action determines tomorrow's life, the notion of time changes. India and its castes, the will of Karma, the power of destiny. This vision "explodes", makes the Western soul startle, often lost in a material world. The omnipresent force of the sacred, disturbing, opens the unknown door of the divine. "The East to orientate oneself", according to Henri Michaux, because India sometimes acts as a beacon. Coming from the great consumer societies where the spiritual dimension of life tends to fade away or to take a back seat, many find themselves or lose themselves in the esoteric vision of the Indian universe. A shock that will certainly leave no one indifferent. For it is a softer and harder world, where sacred cows will never be crazy, where vegetarian food fills the plates. All visitors who arrive in India for the first time are first lost, without any reference to an elsewhere that exceeds them. The change of scenery is total: the strange caste system, the sacred cows, the venerated cobras, the mysticism of the sadhus, the rickshaws, the thousand facets of Hinduism that defy our understanding and so many other things, this journey is like a dream. Dreaming with open eyes is undeniably something to make you want to leave the shore, to sail gently adrift. India allows you to put things into perspective, think for a minute that you are living so that your next life will be better and you will understand.
The splendour of the maharajas :
If you have some savings, luxury, calm and voluptuousness will be within your reach in this India of all contrasts. Off-season, prices are falling for those who take the time to negotiate. For the price of a Formula 1, why not opt for a haveli or an old Maharaja palace. Rajasthan has thousands of them. From the splendours of this period, there are still some hotels that are unique in the world (suites, marble sculptures, mosaics, paintings and furniture gilded with gold leaf). Between treasures to discover and palaces to stay in, a trip to Rajasthan is a luxury... within everyone's reach.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette