India Travel Notes no. 1

It is already our 5th day in India, and I have heard, tasted, seen and felt a lot of things while I’m here. I’ve heard a portion of its his...

It is already our 5th day in India, and I have heard, tasted, seen and felt a lot of things while I’m here. I’ve heard a portion of its history as explained by the excellent guides we had, tasted the spices of masala burning in my mouth, throat and anus. I have seen palaces, forts, beautifully designed walls and felt the interesting ambiance surrounding the Taj Mahal. 

When I first heard about the Taj Mahal, I was too young and naive. It was about a king who built a mausoleum for his true love. However I have learned in this trip that the king remarries and I felt a twang of jealousy since I have put myself in the shoes of Mum Taj Mahal. As the  light shone on its marbled walls, the mausoleum changes its colors and it’s beautiful, however it was quite hot and crowded that concentrating on its beauty can be a struggle. People are everywhere, that in every picture, there are always people around you wish to crop out. 

We stayed in the Oberoi Amarvilas, a luxury hotel with views of the Taj Mahal, and in the evening, you can only see the shadows of it. People are always smiling and helpful, that you felt like an Indian princess. This is why you go on vacations, because you also expect that you will be treated as a guest, everything is taken care of, they make you feel important. Breakfast got a lot of variety, and I got myself a masala omelette. Anywhere you look, you can’t find this hotel any fault at all. 

The next day, we visited the Agra Fort, with the same guide we had the day before - Shafiq, a muslim. He explained history well, however I still have this feeling that he’s only touching the surface, that I found myself desiring for a more in-depth experience. I think that will require more passion and talent, to tell a story, as if you were there. But then again, he must have told this story over and over again with all the other tourists visiting India. We only covered 1/6 of the Fort, because the rest is being used by the Indian army. There are two parts of it, one built by the father of the one who built the Taj Mahal, and the other built by the grand son. Indian government has a monarchial government, and descendants of that family still live and rule until today. The design and materials being used by the two parts are different. 

Afterwards, we drove 2 hours to Fatehpuri Sikri, another fort and palace in orange color. Then we drove for another 2 hours Abhaneri where we saw a deep stair well. The guide took five minutes to explain the things we need to learn about it, I don’t think it’s enough haha! It was interesting, because with its size, depth and endless passageways, you can imagine how they used the well. It was said that the people from the village take a bath in the well and get water for drinking in it as well. The water is dirty and covered in fungus. It’s also now a government protected area so it is surrounded by white fences. It was even raining when we stopped there. 

Then, we drive another 1.5 hrs. to reach Jaipur, the pink city! 

More photos to come soon!

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