This new three part series sees actress and tv presenter Caroline Quentin embarks on a journey of discovery through one of the world's most remarkable and diverse countries.
In this first episode Caroline begins her journey as she attempts to get under the skin of India and adjust to its heat and bustle while taking in the sights and scenery and meeting the people at locations both on and very firmly off the tourist map. She sets out on the River Ganges to discover how the vast waterway is at the heart of so much of Indian life, she helps cook dinner for a local family while staying at their home in Varanasi, she rubs shoulders with genuine Indian royalty in Jodphur, travels to India's most iconic landmark, and even takes a tentative sip of brewed opium with village elders in a remote rural village. Caroline also visits one of the world's most famous fertility centres, where she meets women who can earn life-changing amounts by becoming surrogate mothers.
She begins her journey in Varanasi, also known as Benares, which is one of the oldest and holiest cities in the whole world where she meets her guide Ravi in the bustling town .Ravi takes Caroline to the River Ganges, where thousands of Hindus flock to worship, but she resists.
Caroline stays with a local family in the town and says: "What's great about being here today is I've actually got the privilege of a proper insight into family life. I can't wait actually, spend some time with them."
The family invite Caroline to share a meal with them, and instruct her in the traditional Indian way of eating with her hands.
The next day Caroline sets off on the next leg of her journey to Rajasthan on the famous Indian railway system. The railways are a cornerstone of everyday Indian life and traverse the length and breadth of the country. It carries over 20 million passengers, and two million tons of freight, daily and employs over two million people, making it the second largest employer in the world.
After a 12 hour overnight journey, Caroline arrives in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, the Land of Kings, where she meets up with local lady Anu, who takes her shopping at the local food market. Rajasthani food is famous for its distinctive spicy flavours and Anu offers to teach Caroline how to cook a local dish.