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The Tomb of Bibi Jawindi at Uch Sharif, Pakistan.

India and Pakistan 1996

Mumbai to the Khyber Agency

The trekking expedition to northern Pakistan that I had taken part in during the summer of 1994 was such a fantastic experience, that I promised myself that I would return to the Indian Subcontinent as soon as this was possible. I had a vague outline in my mind of the journey I wanted to make. I would start at the British built 'Gateway of India', which overlooks Mumbai harbour, travel north through India to the border with Pakistan, and finish at the other historical gateway to India, the famous Khyber Pass on the border with Afghanistan. With this in mind, when I looked at maps of India and Pakistan the ideal route for my travels almost drew itself in front of me. From Mumbai I could travel north to Rajasthan, the main area for tourism in India; a land of palaces, deserts and colourful history. Once I reached northern Rajasthan I could go north again to see the Taj Mahal at Agra, then to Delhi and west to Amritsar (site of the Sikh Golden Temple and gateway to the only land border crossing to Pakistan). Crossing the border, I would arrive in Lahore, a city renowned for it's great Mughal architecture, and home to Ahmed Mudassir Khan, one of the guides who had accompanied us on the 1994 trek. A detour south from there into the desert would allow me to see some very old Islamic shrines, seldom visited by western tourists. From there I would head for the North West Frontier Province and the Khyber pass to finish my trip looking down from the mountains on war torn Afghanistan. The route I had chosen not only involved very little doubling back on myself and a great variety of scenery and culture but was also based loosely on the route my Grandfather must have taken, when he travelled in India during the Second World War. His ship had put into Mumbai (Bombay as it was then) for repairs and he had stepped ashore through the Gateway of India and gone first to the Deolali transit camp, then via Agra to the Khyber pass. It was, I thought, fitting that I should follow in his footsteps, since it had been his stories of India that had first inspired my ambition to travel there.
India & Pakistan 1996 Travel Diary India & Pakistan 1996 Travel Diary View Photographs Of The Trip View Photographs Of The Trip View Journey on Google Earth View Journey on Google Earth
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