|Humayun's Tomb in Delhi|
I have yet to come across a wanderluster(read travel addict) that has not dreamed about travelling to India. The very mention of the country conjures up pictures of bustling cities in India's capitals, with tuk tuks meandering through chaotic and congested traffic, food sellers at the markets enticing you to taste their aromatic currys, colourful saris cris-crossing the streets in warm and toasty weather of course. I have longed for a trip to India to ever since I was a teen. Imagining what it would be like to set my eyes on the Taj Mahal in Agra, visiting the Golden Temple of Goa, taking a boat ride to see the Water Palace in Jaipur or just taking a train journey from city to city and letting views and colours of India unfold before me from my train window.
This dream of visiting India came true two months ago when my boyfriend and I embarked on a quick trip to Delhi. Quick for me but longer for him as he was there on month long business trip. My trip was short and sweet but included visits to Agra, Delhi and Gurgoan. India is everything you imagine it to be and so much and more, and thankfully it was without the 'Delhi Belly'. The crazy traffic or rather 'organised' chaos, in addition to the bustling madness, there is the people aspect; lovely, warm and welcoming. But, as welcoming as everyone was I was also a little taken back with the people staring. In many other countries I have been to, considering I was either visiting some European countries or East Asia where there aren't that many black people, I obviously stood out like a sore thumb, so the staring wasn't a surprise, somewhat. This time I was in India! Where people are only a few shades lighter than my chocolate hue, if not the same shade of chocolaty goodness. Yet, I still found myself being photographed(some asked and some were just sneaking in shots - I am guilty of that too, á la "street photography") and in some cases mobbed a little. Perhaps it might have something to do with me strutting about in my big hat, which by the way was stolen just hours before I boarded my flight back to London. I was a little gutted as I bought it in Namibia last year and its been with me through my little African expedition through Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. Whoever has it has some major attention to look forward to. My attention grabbing in India only fell short of being asked to give autographs. Some moments were so funny, I had parents saying their children would like to take a picture with me, then only for them to jump into the picture too. Yeah, sure your 3 year old asked to take a picture with me. They were all really sweet about it too. And no this definitely doesn't put me off heading back to India(if one didn't have to do the work thing, one would be heading to Heathrow airport checking out the next flights to India).
Soon after I got back I got an email introducing me to some of India's charm through aromatic teas, oils and scented room infusions via Great Rail, as an introduction to Great Rail's infographic on the Colours of India showcasing some of what you can see on the rail journeys through India. Had I not just been to India I would have probably shed a tear at being enticed to immerse myself in be bold colours of this beautiful country electronically, instead of a ticket back to India to fully experience it first hand. Luckily I have seen some of India's stunning and beautiful architecture, learnt about some of its past empires and what they brought and contributed to India's cultural heritage, from temples that have stood the test of time, learnt about art left behind by Persians and how this has now blended in with styles of architecture and the imported rags from India still using Persian methods. Truly majestic sites that leave indelible marks that will forever conjure a smile with each recall of my explorations in the hustle and bustle of the towns I passed through. Both on my own explorations and those with my boyfriend, before I left him to get on with a month long work venture.
I already miss seeing the beautiful temples all around New Delhi. Yes, even the cows chilling under the trees to avoid the heat or the ones roaming the roads freely. I miss it all. I am hoping to return soon, as there is just so much to see and explore in this beautiful country and hopefully be reintroduced to colours of India through the Great Rail's train journeys across India.
In the meant time below are a few pictures from my visit in India with plenty more to come. I took what seems like a million of pictures, so look out for more posts to come with tips on getting around Delhi, top things to see and do in both Delhi and Agra.
|The Taj Mahal In Agra|
|Watching Tuk Tuks at the bottom of our Marriot Hotel in Gurgaon|
|Semi Precious Stones decorate the Taj Mahal - Malachite, Coral, Lapis and many more.|
|Agra Fort In Agra|
|Agra Fort In Agra where Shah Jahan (Mamtaz Mahal's husband) was jailed so that he had views of the Taj Mahal where his wife was buried.|
|The Lotus Temple In Delhi - A Bahai religious place of worship/temple|
|India Gate in Delhi - A few meters from the presidential palace.|
|The entrance to the Taj Mahal|
|Views from Humayn's Tomb|
|The Red Ford In Delhi|
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