Published on February 12th, 2016 | by Emma Hackwood0
Princes, Palaces, and Pakoras in India
In the 17th century, the emperor of India, Shah Jahan, immortalized the memory of the love of his life with a magnificent marble mausoleum and named it after her. Today, the Taj Mahal, draws people from around the world to admire this monument, fall in love with her and the wonder of this palace, and live the love story that embodies it. Join one of our Travel Experts Luisa, on this journey to India with Intrepid Travel for an exciting adventure through the Golden Triangle.
The Golden Triangle hosts many of India’s great cultural gems. This was my first trip to India and got to experience the amazing food, millions of people, and fascinating culture. I was really looking forward to this tour as I knew this would be an eye-opening and possibly life-changing experience.
After a welcome meeting with our local guide, we were each given an Indian tikka on the forehead made of vermillion, and a flower garland. After the meeting, we made our way to the local metro station, which was heaving with people. It felt quite strict with bag scans and metal detectors, but once we had gotten through the gates, it was a smooth ride to Old Delhi. We were taken on a walking tour of Old Delhi through winding, chaotic streets, where rickshaws pushed their way through people out shopping for saris and spices.
En route, we made a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest mosque and one of Delhi’s most impressive buildings and proceeded to the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.
We had an early start on the famous Indian Railway, where we took one of India’s fastest trains to the Mughal city of Agra, which took about 3 hours. In the morning we visited Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. From the fort we had amazing views of the Taj Mahal, which we finally visited in the afternoon.
It was a masterpiece of shimmering white marble and much bigger than I had imagined it would be. Definitely one of the major highlights of the trip!
A Rural Heritage Stay
The next morning we travelled by air-conditioned mini bus to Karauli in the state of Rajasthan. En route, we stopped by the deserted Mughal kingdom of Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water. We travelled to a palace built as a royal residence for the ruler of Karauli, which is where we were going to stay overnight. As we wandered through the grounds of the palace, we bumped in to the King and the Prince for a quick chat while they were tending to a sick cow!
In the morning, we took a tuk-tuk to the rural village and opted to see another palace. On the way to the capital of Rajasthan – the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur – we saw camels pulling carts, women dressed in beautiful saris carrying more than their weight on top of their heads and children herding water buffaloes – a wonderful glimpse of rural life. Arriving in Jaipur, we found it to be a busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles, and folk-based arts.
Our final day in Jaipur was spent shopping in the bazaars. By mid-afternoon, we travelled back to Delhi on a high speed train. I would definitely visit India again and explore the south to see what else this beautiful country has to offer.
For more information about travelling to India with Intrepid Travel, contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert by connecting with us online, calling 1-877-967-5302, or visiting your closest Flight Centre store.