Travels to India
Sights and Sounds of Delhi
As the rain had stopped & the sun and humid air hit us, we boarded our local rickshaws. Local men young and old, pedalled tirelessly to keep us moving through the Old Town Delhi narrow streets. With motorbikes, other rickshaws, bicycles and pedestrians going everywhere, it was an exciting ride. The bumpy streets and puddles from the recent rain, added to the atmosphere of seeing what makes this area something that you must see. Local barbers skilfully using blades to shave their customers, street vendors with colourful breads, curries & snacks, small industries and lots of little shops were so interesting to see, smell and hear. After experiencing the bustling laneways and bazaars of Old Delhi we drove through the old gateways, past the imposing Red Fort, before visiting Raj Ghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The amazing day of touring Delhi was topped off with dinner at the Oberoi Hotel’s “Omya” restaurant where the chef is India’s youngest ever recipient of a Michelin Star.
The Road to Agra
Our coach drove down the narrow gravel road lined with trees that opened out to a historic guesthouse & restaurant. I immediately felt like we had arrived at the Exotic Marigold Hotel. The lovely hosts & their daughter in law walked us around the gardens that supply the organically grown produce used in the restaurant. An inviting pool area was so tempting as the sun beat down. We were served lunch of soup, curries, breads & other local delicacies as we admired the beautiful architecture and colour of the room. Their spacious guestrooms & many varied activities make this a perfect stopover on route between Agra and Jaipur.
After checking in to the amazing Oberoi Amar Vilas in Agra, we were treated to a sparkling fruit drink on the balcony of the lounge area to admire our first views of the Taj Mahal. It was hard to look away from this majestic monument that is one of the most well-known wonders of the world. The desert hued colours of the hotel with the blue pool & green lawns were the foreground of the Taj Mahal that was only 600metres away. We stood for a long time & took in the views that will always be a wonderful memory for me.
Touring India’s Pink City
Renowned as being the ‘Pink City’ after the colour-wash of its old city’s walls, Jaipur did not disappoint. The capital city of India’s royal state Rajasthan has many famous and amazing monuments. As we drove towards the Amber Fort, we marvelled at the size of this classic Rajasthani Fort/Palace. It stood tall on the green hill and the walls that zig-zagged around the surrounding hills reminded me of a smaller version of the Great Wall of China. Once inside, we could admire the decorative walls & ceilings of some of the areas within. Learning the history took us back in time to when the Maharaja & his people ruled the fort. We then stopped at Hawa Mahal, known as Palace of winds, which is iconic with its lace like facade made of pink and red sandstone. After taking in the sights of the “Pink City” we were treated to a traditional dinner at the Raj Palace Hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
My time in India was absolutely stunning. I already can’t wait to go back.
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