Gay India – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 7th, 2018

Gay India - The Nomadic Boys

We spent several months travelling in India as a gay couple, from North to South, and absolutely loved it.

We visited world famous monuments like the Taj Mahal and stunning palaces across Rajasthan. We were in awe at the intense spirituality in Varanasi, chilled in the popular backwaters of Kerala, and loved all the delicious Indian food we tried. But our absolute highlight was the people. The Indians stole our heart. As well as being full of charm and character, they were very hospitable and never disrespectful to us. We found them to be welcoming, curious, very friendly, and eager to show off their country to these two foreigners.

On the face of it, India does not appear to be very gay friendly, particularly as the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 to uphold the colonial laws dating back to 1861 banning sex between two consenting men. Whilst this law was decriminalised by the High Court of Delhi in 2009, it was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court because the judges concluded that such an amendment should be left to parliament to decide, and not the judiciary. The law is thankfully being reviewed again in the Supreme Court – a testament to how strong the LGTBQ community is in India.

In practice, gay relationships do of course exist and thrive in India, as they do in any other country. However, social norms in India tend to discourage public display of affection no matter sexual orientation.

But do the maths – this is a country with a population of over 1.3 billion people, which means statistically there are around 130 million gay boys waiting to welcome you.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

Sandakphu on a Budget – Seattle Lesbian

Author: , March 9th, 2018

India - Pixabay

A trek in the hills is the perfect getaway from the dull city life. The crisp mountain air and the thrill of scaling summits – such is the magnetism of trekking in the hills. If you are an adventure-seeker keen on experiencing the outdoors, Sandakphu is close by. Easy to reach from the eastern part of India, it features on the bucket-list of many eager travelers.

Trains ply to the New Jalpaiguri Junction, the railway station nearest to Sandakphu. From New Jalpaiguri, you will find buses and cars to take you to the charming hill station of Darjeeling. Plan your trek from there. It does not have to cost the earth. With careful planning and prior bookings, you can trek to Sandakphu on a budget and also squeeze in a mini-vacation in Darjeeling. Here is how you complete a trek to Sandakphu on a humble budget.

THE SONG OF SINGALILA

Sandakphu is the highest summit of the Singalila Range. This trek is also called the Singalila Trek as it will take you along the Singalila Range. Visitors flock to Sandakphu for panoramic views of the Himalayas – Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

By Samantha Martin – Full Story at Seattle Lesbian

India Gay Travel Resources

Top 10 Queer Friendly Places in India

Author: , November 2nd, 2017

The LGBT community has had a number of victories around the world in the last few years. Marriage equality is now the law of the land in the United States, and not just in a few states. No matter where you live, you can marry whoever you want.

Some other countries are not as lucky. There are a few European countries that have made it legal, which is another win, but India has not gained much ground in this matter. Quite the contrary, in fact. The Indian Supreme Court has criminalized homosexuality, so marriage among same-sex persons is out of the question.

Even so, that does not mean there are no gay people there. Surely in the future, things will change. Until then, there are many places in India where you can be who you are without facing the consequences.

Mumbai

Mumbai - Pixabay

As a city, Mumbai is very supportive of the LGBT community. The Mumbai Queer Film Festival is one of the best examples that express the support the community needs. In fact, this festival is the most significant LGBT event in South Asia, and it brings together creators and audience that help create social change. The Pride Parade (Queer Azaadi March) is held every year, and the participants hope that the lawmakers will abolish Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. So far there has been no success, but as far as participation goes, Mumbai is a winner.

Agra

Taj Mahal Agra - Pixabay

We all know that Agra is the home of world’s largest token of love. The Taj Mahal is on many people’s bucket list, and it one of the most romantic places in India. Romance has no limits in terms of gender, which is why the location is gay-friendly. In fact, the city has been rated as the most popular LGBT-friendly location in India. So if you and your partner want to share a romantic trip, Agra should be among your choices.

Delhi

Delhi - pixabay

It makes sense that Delhi should be gay-friendly. It is the capital city, and one of the largest in the country. It is a place where the LGBT community knew one of its first victories. Delhi was the first one that made sure the LGBT community’s voice is heard. The Delhi High Court declared Section 377 unconstitutional and violative of the fundamental right to equality and freedom. Unfortunately, the decision was overturned by the Indian Supreme Court. Even so, it still counts as a victory, and the LGBT community will continue to fight for its rights. Delhi has a Queer Pride Parade as well, in case you are interested.

Jaipur

Jaipur - Pixabay

The ‘Pink City’ has a vibrant culture and history. It has an active nightlife, with plenty of options.As far as LGBT rights go, the city had its first Pride Parade in March 2015. Things may be moving slowly there, but with steady steps. Even so, a romantic trip to Jaipur sounds very good.

Chennai

Chennai - Pixabay

Chennai is the sixth largest city in India and has a diverse culture. That is one of the reasons why it is an LGBT-friendly location. The culture has a great deal of respect for the LGBT community, which is why the Tamil Nadu High Court has agreed to provide transgender welfare policies. It was the first time in India when transgenders had rights. Also, the Chennai International Queer Film Festival (Reel Desires) started back in 2004 and brings film-makers, artists, and performers from all over the world. The Pride Parade takes place every year under the banner of Tamil Nadu Rainbow Collation.

Ladakh

 

Ladakh - Pixabay

The most notable thing to mention about Ladakh is that there is a travel agency called Purple Dragon. It has supported and made a few advances for the LGBT community over the years. So if you would like to take your partner visit the location, you will have a lovely experience.

Bangalore

Bangalore - Pixabay

Bangalore is also known as the Garden City or the Silicon Valley of India. Since the IT field is the city’s primary activity, there is a positive attitude towards the LGBT community. It is safe to say that the city is very open-minded towards gays, and even the work environment is LGBT-friendly. In 2013 took place the first Lesbian Dykes on Bikes, and you can also participate in Bangalore Queer Film Festival every year. Its purpose is to celebrate and support the LGBTI or any other sexual minority in India.

Pune

Pune - Pixabay

Pune is also called the Oxford of the East because it has a large student population. It has a great LGBT community, and there are support clubs for gays. The first Pride Parade was in 2011, and it had few participants. However, the LGBT community has flourished since then.

Kolkata

Kolkata - Pixabay

Kolkata is a very forward-thinking city when it comes to sexual and gender orientation. When the Supreme Court of India criminalized homosexuality, hundreds of people protested in the streets in what we know as the Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk back in 2014. They also have the oldest LGBT Film and Video Festival in India. At least that is what they claim.

Goa

Goa - Pixabay

When you think of Goa, the first things that comes to mind is the vivid nightlife and fantastic beaches. When it comes to the LGBT community, Goa promotes gay tourism, and there are plenty of clubs and beaches open to gays. The overall attitude is open-minded, which is why Goa is known as one of India’s most LGBT- friendly location. If you are looking the best place to have fun with your partner, you can enjoy the parties at Vagator, Arambol, and Palolem.

To be a part of the LGBT community in India is not the easiest thing to do. Indians respect their religion deeply, and the fact that homosexuality is criminalized does not help at all. However, there is a ray of hope in any situation. Things may be moving slow there, but remember there was a time in the United States when homosexuals were persecuted. And look where they are now. Lucky for all the LGBT community, there are a few places where you can feel safe, and the ones mentioned above are among the best places to be if you are gay. If you like to go there for fun or support, you should know that most nationalities need a visa to enter the country. Lucky for you, you can apply for an Indian evisa, which means that packing your bags will take longer than the actual process of getting a visa. Other than that, Namaste!

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India Adventure Hikes – Breakaway Backpacker

Author: , August 7th, 2017

India village

India is a huge country and there is a lot of room to explore various trails and scenery while you are there. If you want, it’s the perfect playground for hiking enthusiasts. Since a country that big can easily get confusing for a newbie, today we’ll take a look at some of the most exciting hiking trails to try. In the end we hope that you will find this country to be as fun and beautiful as we did!

The Grand Indrahar Pass

This is one of the most popular destinations for hiking in the entire country. This pass is in the Dhauladhar Range in the Himalayans, and you will start your trek at the Galu Temple.

During the journey you can rest at a camping ground, but don’t forget to look around at the Lahesh Caves, which is a place where hikers like to explore. The Pir Panjal Mountains are also something you will see, along with the forests and Deodar and Rhododendron flowers! Your trip will wrap up at Chamba.

One more thing you will see is the Mahesh Kailash peak, which has snow on top and looks amazing! You will want to visit here anywhere from May to October for the best hiking.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker

India Gay Travel Resources

Visiting Gay India – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 5th, 2017

Gay India - Alain

Early this year, I had a 10-day trip to India. Yes, I know, for a huge country like India, 10 days is a joke, right? That’s why, I chose to explore New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These three cities are the usual tourist destinations for those who have little time in the country. They’re called “The Golden Triangle” route due to their location from each other. This tourist route can be done in 7 days – then I went to Varanasi for 2 days and back to Delhi on my last day. Here’s how I explored gay India.

Weather in January/February

I flew there in February – winter time. A light jacket was fine in the morning and in the evening. I survived wearing t-shirts and shorts during the day while exploring the sights.

Taking the trains in India

Do not trust taking trains from one city to another at wintertime. The delays were horrendous and gave me wrinkles and tested my patience. My train from New Delhi to Agra was delayed for 30 minutes – which was fine for me. But, from Agra to Jaipur, our train was delayed for 9 slow hours! Bejesus, my butt almost exploded from sitting down at the filthy train station! The train ride from Jaipur to Varanasi was the worst – 15 hours delayed! It was the longest train ride I’ve ever had in my backpacking life! A total of 24.5 hours were wasted. I lost so much time that I had to limit the places I wanted to go and see. All of these delays have one reason: fog! Or pollution?

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

India Gay Travel Resources

New Delhi’s First LGBT Cafe

Author: , June 2nd, 2017

Chez Jerome – Q Cafe

New Delhi’s first LGBTI cafe will leave you hungry for moreChez Jerome – Q Cafe is the first LGBTI cafe in India’s capital, New Delhi. India’s capital, New Delhi, now has its own LGBTI cafe which along with an amazing menu will be a safe space for all people in the rainbow community.

Chez Jerome – Q Cafe has been open since late last year but word is still catching on about this unique space for LGBTI people. Chez Jerome is the brainchild of Sambhav Dehlavi who is also the head waiter and chef.

‘I want this to be a safe space for women, too, for anyone who wants to be part of an inclusive culture,’ Dehlavi told the Hindustan Times. The 27-year-old came out 10 years ago and said that tough experience has given him a great resilience. ‘We first realised about negativity when we came out of the closet. I came out when I was just 17,’ he told The Indian Express. ‘Now that I’ve come through all of it, these tiny hurdles [opposition to the cafe] feel like nothing.

By Shannon Power – Full Story at Gay Star News

India Gay Travel Resources

Sarnath – Where Buddha Preached His First Sermon – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 12th, 2017

Sarnath

In Sarnath, Buddha preached his first sermon to his followers. Right after he attained Nirvana under a Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, he traveled to Sarnath to preach. That sermon he gave became the central belief of Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path.

Today, Sarnath is synonymous to Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. There’s a humongous stupa in the place where he used to sit and preach. This stupa is the most preserved in the area and it towers over the land where temples once stood.

The surrounding area still carries the ruins of the Buddhist Temples of ancient yore.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

India Gay Travel Resources

Morning on the Ganges – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 3rd, 2017

Ganges

The Ganges River in Varanasi is everything to the Hindus who live in the city. They consider it holy but they don’t treat it like one. It’s murky and polluted. For a visitor like me, I see the flowing river crying for help. Strolling along the banks, I saw a lot of things that’s not normal in many ways. I guess, it’s just the foreign eyes in me, eh?

There were things that crept me out. But,one particular incident was when I saw a dead body wrapped in a cloth floating in the river. The boat man pointed this to me and I was mortified! Why? Because few meters from us were people bathing and swimming like it’s the most natural thing to do in the world.

Ok, well, it’s a very natural thing to do for them, at least, right? I talked to my fellow travellers at the hostel – and they, too, have seen a floating body or two. One guy told us that he saw a dog devouring a human hand. “I could never unsee that in my lifetime,” he said.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

India Gay Travel Resources

Jaipur City Palace – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , March 27th, 2017

Jaipur City Palace - Alain

Jaipur City Palace is your window to royal extravagance of ancient India. The complex is a maze of courtyards, palaces and architectural beauty, ready to blow your mind away. And oh, it’s super pink, too, like the rest of the city. This Palace was used as a royal residence of the Singh family who ruled the city for a long time. This isn’t just huge but it’s also a marvellous place to learn history and admire its architectural designs.

It’s right in the heart of the old city surrounded by pink buildings. Thus, it got its monicker, “The Pink City.”

The City Palace in Jaipur is a mix of Mughal, Rajput and European architectural influences.

As soon as you enter the courtyard, Mubarak Mahal greets you in all its splendour. In Urdu, Mubarak can be translated into auspicious. Today, it’s a textile museum with great collections of royal clothes.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

India Gay Travel Resources

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , March 26th, 2017

Jantar Mantar

At Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, you’ll find the world’s largest sundial stone. This place a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an ancient collection of 19 astronomical structures built in the open field. Including in these 19 objects are the zodiac signs – better find yours.

At first, you might not be impressed as they look like boring concrete in different shapes. But it makes a difference when you have a handy guidebook and the descriptions in each structure are well-written. So, read every written descriptions to appreciate each objects in front of you.

The World’s Largest Stone Sundial