Hitchhiking with pilgrims, Uttarakhand (May 2013)
During the annual pilgrim season, villagers from Rajasthan pool their money together and hire a bus to tour the pilgrim circuit. These villagers pretty much live on the bus for the duration of their pilgrimage.
On my way to the next temple, Rudranath, I was picked up by one of these pilgrim buses. The villagers would break into chants ‘Jai Bolonath!’ every five minutes. I sat next to the most elderly man at the front of the bus. He removed his turban and put it on my head. That got a lot of laughs from everyone.
By the time we reached the next town by the river, all the villagers got off and rushed to the riverside to bathe and wash their clothes.