It would take at least 4 trips to see all of India. Each region is dramatically different From the majestic Himalayas, to barren desert, tropical paradise, and flood plains. We will definitely visit again.
This trip was focused on Northern India and January is the perfect time of year (the "dry season") to visit. Evenings were cool (light jacket weather) and day was comfortably warm.
We had a truly lovely time and came home with fond memories. My overall impression was that their way of life is very simple (although harsh at times). Everyone seemed to be entirely preoccupied with food. Growing, buying, selling, transporting, preparing. I am certain that this is always how it has been. And what a treat it was. Most traditional Indian cuisine is vegetarian and the variety of vegetables was truly amazing. Surprisingly, not nearly as hot (spicy) as I expected.
Now, since many have already asked us about it, I should dispel the common myth that the Ganges River is filled with filth and dead bodies. I must confess that I did not drink from the river but it seemed remarkably clean.
Yes, we did see human remains (skeletons) on river banks. In fact, quite close to several of our camp sites. But before you get totally grossed out, it is just part of their religion. You see, when Hindus die they are cremated and their ashes are returned to the water. The Ganges is THE sacred river and many who know they are about to die travel to Varanasi (the most Holly city. The exception is children and pregnant women who's bodies are returned to the water. I don't recall what the rationale is but it seemed very peaceful and respectful.
Naturally, we took a ton of pictures. I must admit that I do not possess a photographers eye. Fortunately, Anita does. One of our travel companions, (Alastair Lyons) took some amazing "people" shots and was kind enough to share.