In the final instalment of Joanna Lumley’s three-part travelogue adventure across India, she explores Rajasthan, Delhi and the mountainous North West ending in Kashmir, the place of her birth.
Rajasthan, on the Pakistan border, is famous for its beautiful desert, opulent palaces and stunning lakes. It’s also home to one of the most famous tiger reserves in India.
Joanna arrives at Ranthambhore National Park to meet Belinda Wright from the Wildlife Protection Society of India, to go on safari and learn about their tiger conservation programmes. Belinda, like Joanna, is a daughter of the Raj. She has spent her life campaigning against poaching, animal trafficking and the loss of wild places.
Joanna’s next stop is the mighty capital city of Delhi, which has a population of 18 million that is predicted to double in the next decade. Joanna begins her exploration at a monumental spot which has a very personal connection to her, Humayun’s Tomb.
Delhi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the place the British in India moved their capital to in 1911. Seven decades of self-government has seen India emerge as a major world power and Delhi has witnessed a phenomenal growth in hi-tech industries. India now earns £50 billion a year providing business services around the world with huge companies like such as Pepsi and Vodafone having outsourced some of their services there.
Next, Joanna re-visits her modelling past by attending a photo shoot with Indian models. In the 60s, models and fashion shoots often went to India for the glorious colour and light and today there’s a healthy home-grown scene.
Back on the move, an hour’s flight north of Delhi below the snowy Himalayan peaks is the town of Dharamshala. Joanna is beyond excited to have an audience with one of the world’s great spiritual leaders, the Dalai Lama.
Before her trip to India ends, Joanna travels to Kashmir in the very North West of the country, where she was born. The region has been famed for centuries as a heavenly retreat but since India and Pakistan were split apart in the Act of Partition in 1947, it became a conflict zone.
Joanna Lumley’s India – Wednesday at 9.00pm on ITV