India Through The Eyes of a Spiritual Gangster

India Through The Eyes of a Spiritual Gangster

India, through the eyes of a Spiritual Gangster

One morning I woke up to an email from a software company based out of India. They reached out with an intent on bringing a yoga culture to their employees. There was no way I could turn this down, so with a few months of planning, I took off to Mumbai! I got there a few days early and connected with some locals through Instagram who happen to love adventure and videography. I met up with them at sunrise the next morning and had the adventure of my life. I saw every nook and cranny of Mumbai in one day and even made it outside the city towards the mountains in time for sunset. It was amazing to instantly connect with like-minded people who were born and raised in such a vastly different world than me.

We created this video together that perfectly captures my India experience. Shortly after my work with software company, I fell sick. Instead of flying home, my grandfather suggested I go see his Ayurvedic doctor for Pancha Karma - an ancient detox practice. This led me to the Pink City of Jaipur. After I healed and slowly started to get my energy back, I explored all of the ancient forts and temples the city had to offer. Throughout the rest of the blog, I will share with you the images and names of these special places.


 The Gateway of India is an arch monument built during the 20th century in Bombay, India. The monument was erected to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in 1911.

The first thing I noticed about Bombay, on that first day, was the smell of the different air. It's the smell of gods, demons, empires, and civilisations in resurrection and decay. It's the blue skin-smell of the sea, no matter where you are in the Island City, and the blood-metal smell of machines. It smells of the stir and sleep and waste of sixty million animals, more than half of them humans and rats. - Shantaram

Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the Supreme Being within Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is the "destroyer of evil and the transformer”


Japuir is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded in 1727 by Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer, after whom the city is named. As of 2011, the city had a population of 3.1 million, making it the tenth most populous city in the country.


Beautiful Jaipur is equally famous for its temples as it is famous for the forts, monuments and Pink City. Most of these temples were built by Maharajas who once ruled the city for the pilgrims. The temples of Jaipur, owing to their architectural magnificence and resemblance to ancient monuments, see a great number of followers and visitors.



Nahargarh Fort stands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the city of Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh once formed a strong defense ring for the city.


In 16th century, a fort was built by a trusted general of Akbar, Maan Singh. Later, Maan started to rule the area surrounding the fort which was called as the Amer state. The fort is now called as the Amer Fort and the city is called as Jaipur. Amer fort or Amber fort is located a little away from the main city of Jaipur. It is an important tourist destination in this city.  


“Water plays a special part in Hindu mythology, as a boundary between heaven and earth known as tirtha. As manmade tirtha, the stepwells became not only sources of drinking water, but cool sanctuaries for bathing, prayer, and meditation. The wells are called by many names. In Hindu they are baori, baoli, baudi, bawdi, or bavadi. In Gujarati, spoken in Gujarat, they are commonly called vav.” (source)

I’m grateful to India for teaching me that you do not need a lot of space outside of you to generate the space for love and freedom on the inside. 

Follow more of Jonah's adventures on Instagram @kestyoga