This is the first time I traveled alone in India.
I didn't need to prepare, I just needed a direction. In such cases, when I don't know where I'm going, I use a crystal on a map to show me the direction. This is an ancient tool, that was used, that I can say it surely works. The place that this time was shown to me, was a thousand years old land of the Great Sun Empire. In these days it is situated in Odisha /India/. It is also the center place of Jainism - a religion as old as Buddhism.
I had to travel a lot. By luck, or sleepiness, I've missed my first train stop. I woke up 2 hours after the place that I had to go off , so I continued my journey /sleep/ in the train.
After I took of the train I had an extreme journey. I can tell you this- never listen to people telling you where to go! I arrived in an expensive tourist area, where I couldn't afford the hotel and by chance there was a boxing day which meant that I couldn't leave the place for at least 3 days. Hopefully there is always a way for everything. I got on the train again and traveled all night. And believe me, to travel a blond girl alone in India is not so simple as it sounds, but I'll keep the story for some other time:)
Finally, I've arrived at the ocean. Three mounts ago, when we were in Turkey and decided to go to some warm place with a beach, this was the dream we followed - to arrive here.
When the dreams come true
you live a moment
when all senses
experience the world
and every breath
is full of life.
At the ocean side, people are fishing and gathering the gifts from the waters. For my surprise, the Indian people are afraid to get into the water, especially women. Even if they do, the woman are with clothes. I had to hide behind the sand- hills to get some sun light.
I continued with my journey to West, where was once the center of the Great Sun Empire.
And yes it was all sunny, the people were much darker than the Indians in the North part, and for one week I didn't see another white person. Yes, this was my non touristic place.
The greatness of this place was so long ago, that if you didn't read about its history somewhere, you would never guest, what lies behind this landscapes.
It is said that this is the birth of Jainism religion. Even people from the region don't know their history. From people to people, getting buses, motorbikes and walking, I've found the path fulled with Jainists temples. These temples and sculptures are the oldest Jainist remains from the time the religion was "created".
Jainists have a deep philosophy about life and the universe. There is a teaching that leads a person to perfection, where things like reading someones mind and seeing in the future, are just part of the education.
Rituals are an ordinary part of Jainism. There are some very common rituals with Bulgarian traditions, even if there is a huge distance between the two countries.
It was a long path to follow, while finding different temples left from the Sun Empire, that are dating more than thousand years. A lot of things I've discovered on the way. I have even found fresh blood on one of the temples. This is the interesting thing about religion - same philosophy, but different actions based on it.
The people in the area are living simple life. They are mostly farming. This is the region, where some of the oldest tribes are living. They are protected from the government and if someone wants to go there, he needs special permission. There is also no transport that goes there. Around the city of Koraput, there are many tribes that live in their native environment - people that look completely different from all other India.
"The soul comes alone and goes alone, no one companies it and no one becomes its mate."
from the Jain Universe
People in the area live in small villages surrounded by nature (and tigers in the jungle as they say). The villagers are calm and friendly people, even in the "poor" conditions they are living. They are like a big family.
Children coming back from school.
The days that I've traveled alone in India were a Superb experience. It was hard, but worth it. Hard because when you are European woman traveling alone you get a lot of unwanted attention. Because of the same reason, it is much harder to bargain a reasonable prize about anything, which can make you crazy. You can get surrounded by 20 rikshas (Indian small taxi "car") that offer you 4 times higher than the normal prize for a ride, you get angry and decide you don't need any of these crazy rikshas - you can walk. And after 20 mins when you get calmer, you finally decide to ask someone about your destination and you understand the fact that you are walking in the wrong direction, the place you are going is about 20 km away and it is getting dark. Ok, maybe it won't happen to you but it happen to me :)
It was hard, because when you walk in an area that you haven't seen a white man in few days, and you pop up to a temple where there is blood at the altar your hairs bristle...
And all of these make you strong and more alive.
When you travel alone, you feel the Freedom!