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home > where we are

Where we are

End of July last year we moved back to the UK. For three years before that we lived in India with brief interludes in Bangkok, the UK and Germany. Most of our time in India we spent in the Himalayan village of Manali, which is situated at the end of the Kulu Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, approximately 550 km north of Delhi. The first winter we fled the freezing temperatures and sweated along the South West Coast instead. The following year we braved the cold – equipped with a bukari (oven), tons of wood and charcoal, body warmers, numerous jumpers, scarves, gloves and in my case even a couple of pairs of long johns (as Woody unerotically denounces them) or leggings as I like to call them in an admittedly Germanised English.

It’s not so much travelling in India as it is living in India (or more specifically living in Manali) with short travelling intervals (either to the South or around Himachal Pradesh). It’s great to get to know the people, their style of life, their attitudes, instead of just passing through and getting a very superficial impression of a place. As for the understanding of a place, its culture, its people, it seems to be impossible to fully comprehend its intricate social and religious life, the never ending number of festivals with different and largely opaque purposes, the different proclamation and rules made by devtas and devis (gods and goddesses), the firm belief that if the goddess gets angry the silver masks of her idol becomes black (and will become silver again without cleaning once the anger has subsided). We can ask about these things (and get contradictory replies), we can observe and take it or leave it, but we never can fully comprehend it. You probably have to be born here for that. But anyway, it’s a nice place to stay.

Read full Manali article...

Kirsten Mar 03/ updated Sep 05

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neoncarrot is an online personal travelogue of our travel experiences, life in India, backpacking life and chai drinking in the Kulu Valley (also known as the Valley of the Gods) in the Indian Himalaya. The site contains travelling tips and hints, articles and essays, photo galleries, an online journal / weblog and some vital Indian statistics.
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