Tales of India
DAY 1 (2 Oct 10)
After enduring an almost 6-hour flight, we were finally in Delhi! We arrived late evening on a Saturday and as we made our way to our comfy abode, we noticed the many buildings which were still under construction. The air was filled with dust and the traffic was chaotic with a symphony of honking.
We got onto Ram Nagar street where our hotel was situated but oh boy! There were at least 50 small hotels along that street. All of them with the exact lit up board, with only one differentiating factor – the name of the hotel. We finally made our way to a back alley, found our hotel and settled in for the night.
DAY 2 (3 Oct 10)
Jaipur was on the itinerary. We picked up an American pro squash player from Bangladesh (go figure),Will Mather and his better half, Rachal and headed off on our long 6-hour journey to the Pink City. All was well until our Tempo Traveller broke down midway! After being sheltered in the air-conditioned van, standing under the hot blazing sun with sand and dust blowing at our faces wasn’t exactly our idea of a holiday.
We visited a UNESCO World Heritage site – Jantar Mantar, a sophisticated observatory which housed the largest sundial in the world! It was amazing to see how technologically advanced people in India were centuries ago.
We strolled around the city awhile, seeing City Palace and Lake Palace and decided to call it a day.
DAY 3 (4 Oct 10)
Our day started off well with some good Indian breakfast. First stop for the day was Amber Fort, built by the Mughal kingdom. We were left in awe with the beautiful architecture of the fort which fused Persian, Hindu & Muslim design elements. Our elephant ride up to the fort gave us a feel of how things may have been in ancient times when animals were the main mode of transport.
We were now set to move on to the next destination – Agra. Another 6-hour journey and we were in the state of Uttar Pradesh, home to Taj Mahal, the famous monument of love.
We didn’t do much else in Agra apart from moping for being ripped off during our meals with exorbitant prices.
DAY 4 (5 Oct 10)
The whole bunch of us were eager to get to Taj Mahal, the highlight of our tour! We started our day as early as 8am as we set off to visit this former Wonder of the World.
Needless to say, Taj Mahal was breathtaking! It was built by emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Begum and now houses tombs of them both. A pristine monument of love, the entire area was tranquil despite the buzzing visitors. It’s a definite must-see if you’re in Delhi or the surrounding areas.
We spent a good amount of time taking pictures and absorbing the array of overwhelming feelings that overcame us.
We moved on to the Agra Fort, which was used by the Mughal kingdom and where Shah Jahan spent the last eight years of his life in exile, overlooking the Taj Mahal.
After days of eating Indian meals, we decided that we had enough and chose to go western at McDonald’s!
Til more updates, I’ll sign off with some interesting finds in India.
Fascinating Facts of India:
1) Most important functionality in a vehicle in India – horn.
2) Be prepared for bull & goat crossings.
3) Logistics takes on a whole other dimension.
4) A meal of plain bread and curry can cost up to Rs. 2000! (Ripped off at tourist spots, of course)
5) Fast food is NOT fast (it took us approximately 20 minutes to get our food at McD’s)
6) The best chai (tea) is by the streets (starting at Rs. 7)