From Nepal to India

We (Carolina and I) have been in Nepal since the beginning of April 2017. Our 3-month visa is now coming to its end, and I just wanted to give you some updates about our plans.

On this map, you can see our movements across Nepal. We stayed mainly 10 days in the capital Kathmandu, then around 10 days in Bandipur and we ended up staying in Pokhara for a long period of time, during which we also walked around the Annapurna Himalayan range.

Now we got stamped on our passports a 6-month visa for India. Our plan is hence to stay in India until the end of 2017. We plan to cross to India through the land border south of Nepal. This itinerary is also showed on the map following the two straight lines: we will first move to Tansen and stay there for some days, then to Lumbini and finally to Sonauli in the Indian side.

In India, our destination is not decided yet considering that India is generally very hot now and the Monsoon rain started around the subcontinent. We will probably go to Gorakhpur and from there take a train or a plane to our first main destination in India. We have to leave Nepal before July 3rd.

The Annapurna mountains, Himalaya

The Annapurna mountains, Himalaya

A Hindu wedding in Kerala

Hindu wedding in India

Yadhu and Savi on their engagement day

One evening walking in the streets of Kochi we met a few young guys, started to talk with them, had some very good laughs and ended the night with an invitation to a Hindu wedding. The wedding of Yadhu and Savi. Oh wow!

A few days later early in the morning, we go to the home of Yadhu. All his family is there, neighbours and friends. I am immediately taken by the hand to get dressed – with the saree of the groom’s mom! The neighbour wraps me in this enormous amount of green and golden fabric and puts Jasmine flowers in my hair. Meanwhile Nadim gets help dressing with the traditional Kurtha and Mundu.

The temple ceremony takes place in Vaikom, the village, where Savi has been living with her family until today. The small temple is surrounded by palm trees, chewing cows on the meadow and a ton of people! Everybody is staring at us. People are smiling, they wave, want to talk to us, know where we are from and introduce us to their families.

The beutiful bride enters circles the altar.

The beutiful bride enters circles the altar.

In the temple area we gather under a small gazebo where two priests are waiting next to an altar and two other man play some music. Yadhu is impatiently waiting for his bride, which eventually arrives wearing a red and golden Saree, a Jasmine flower veil and a lot of golden jewelry. She carries a silver bowl with fruits, flowers, and a little fire and circles the altar three times. After that her father puts her right hand in the one of Yadhu, holds them for a while together end everybody starts to sing a prayer. Within the ceremony Yadhu and Savi garland each other and Yadhu puts two necklaces around Savi’s neck. Also Yadhu puts a red powder on Savi’s forehead and hair as a sign, that she is a married woman. Eventually they circle the altar together and the people make “Booo”-sounds to celebrate. Within 30 minutes Yadhu and Savi are married.

After that we go to the house of Savi’s family, where they’ve set up a big tent in the garden. Now more and more people notice us and again we look in many friendly faces and talk to many very nice people. All in all there might be at least 600 people. Meanwhile the bridal couple is busy taking pictures on a big stage. Photos with the parents, siblings, cousins, neighbours, friends, other cousins and so forth and so on. They are busy for a very long time. We get an excellent lunch on a banana leave, take some pictures with the newlyweds and friends and all in a sudden the wedding is over. Yadhu and Savi get in the car and drive to his home, where Savi will live with him from now on. Everybody (including us) is happy, full, and wants to make a siesta. The next day, everybody will meet again at the reception in Fort Kochi where everybody comes to welcome Savi to the community.

Yadhu and Savi, we wish you a happy and long life together! Thank you for inviting us. It was a incredible honour and a great pleasure.

Check for more pictures on the Travel Smart! Facebook page!