Megan McCormick's journey in one of the ultimate travellers'
destinations, West India, begins in the small holy town
of Pushkar. Along with hundreds of
thousands of visitors, she takes part in the annual
religious festival and receives a blessing on the shores
of the lake. The town is also famous for its camel fair
every November and Megan drives a hard bargain with
After a gruelling 8 hour bus ride north to Bikaner,
a remote desert city, Megan puts on a brave face and
visits the extraordinary Karnimassar Temple.
The temple is filled with rats, which are worshiped
as the reincarnations of story tellers. In a small village
just outside the city she bears witness to fire-dancing
at the Sidh sect festival.
The golden city of Jaisalmer, which
was built in the 12th century, is at the very heart
of Rajasthan. Megan, with her hands
freshly adorned with henna, wanders through the market
streets and samples Bhang Lassi, the infamous local
speciality, at the Jaisalmer Fort.
Megan makes the most of the renowned tailors in Udaipur,
'The Venice of the East', and has a traditional Punjabi
suit made in just a few hours. Meanwhile a famous astrologer
tells Megan what the next few years have in store for
Megan makes a brief stop at Ranakpur,
the site of one of the oldest and most impressive Jain
temples in India, before heading 400 miles south by
plane to Mumbai, formerly Bombay -
the biggest, fastest and richest city in India. Startled
by the number of street children in Mumbai, Megan pays
a visit to a children's hostel and learns that travellers
can volunteer to teach English at the hostel while in
Whilst in Mumbai, Megan goes to Bollywood,
where 750 feature films are made every year, and meets
popular actor Jackie Shroff. Before leaving town Megan
samples local cuisine at Juhu Beach,
Mumbai's answer to New York's Coney Island.
Some people come to India just to visit Pune,
the home of the Osho community. Megan
takes instruction in the community's beliefs and witnesses
meditation and trance-like dancing.
Megan takes the overnight train from Mumbai to
Goa, the holiday resort made famous by hippies
in the 1960s. She scours Goa's markets for mementoes
of her trip and finds bargains to be had Anjuna Market,
which was started by unfortunate travellers 30 years
ago who had to sell the contents of their ruck-sacks
to raise their fare home.