How to express a place so iconic? So loved, maybe misunderstood, definitely overwhelming, and just unique? Oh, India.
The Golden Triangle is a 1000 kilometer (620 miles) tourist route which includes the cities of New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Each leg is about four to six hours by car (assuming no weather problems, traffic jams, power outages, cows on the road, etc, which you should ALWAYS assume in India).
Our final ISA excursion, after spending our six week summer term in Hyderabad, was the Golden Triangle. This made leaving Hyderabad easier, as we had something really, really exciting to look forward to. We flew from Hyderabad to Delhi, then left the airport and headed for our first stop: Agra and the Taj Mahal.
We arrived to our hotel at dusk, but I arrived on the rooftop deck just too late to get a glimpse of the Taj in the waning light. It wasn’t to be: I would have to wait till the morning. A sunrise tour around the grounds and up close and personal with the real thing was surreal! We were really standing in such an iconic place; a building considered the most beautiful in the world by many. Amazing to say the least! A delicious breakfast after the Taj and a tour of Agra fort later, we headed for our next stop: Jaipur.
Our day in Jaipur included a fort, an elephant ride, a palace, an astronomical observatory, and a re-created quintessential Indian village for dinner. So much India in one day! The elephant ride was surely a highlight: couldn’t go to India without riding one, right?!
After three straight days of travel, we headed back to Delhi on the fourth to prepare for our departure the next day. We had toured Delhi when we first arrived to India – a lifetime yet a blink – 6 weeks ago.
What more can I add to the words already said about these majestic, iconic places? Can my point-and-shoot pictures share a glimpse of their magnitude?
All I can say is this: GO.