As I`m out traveling with Debbie, this will be short now, but more details will come later.
Delhi`s Golden Triangle was the main reason I came to India.
Honestly…I wanted to see the Taj Mahal and then learned of other things we should see while we are here. Debbie and I decided to do a private tour with a driver to take us all around. This was great as all our transport was taken care of and our hotels were arranged as well and some of the nicer hotels I have stayed in so it was a nice treat!
Delhi – September 25
This was the most whirlwind of a day. We saw everything there was to see in a day and drove all across town through some of the worst traffic. The traffic actually made us want to leave as it was so bad and everyone honks non-stop. It made us nutty!
A few of the things we saw were:
-Temples – We went to the Lakshmi Narayan Temple which was built in 1938 and was the favorite place to worship for Gandhi. It was beautiful yellow and red coloring.
-India`s gate – memorial to fallen soldiers
-Lotus Temple for the Ba`hai religion. Beautiful architecture
-Qutab Minar – this is the tallest stone structure in all of India built back in 1193. Pretty cool!
We had a little more sightseeing to do in the morning since the traffic prohibited us from seeing it all in one day.
-So we were off to an old Mosque (and didn`t know it was the holiest day of the year so lots of celebrations were getting ready.
-Red Fort – Amazing Fort in Delhi that the Emperor built. This was the most magnificent of all Indian royal palaces and is built from red sandstone. The fort is irregular with an octagonal design with two long sides and six shorter ones. There was a cool moat out in front that used to be filled with water, but that is now gone and it`s just a grassy area.
We then had a long drive to Jaipur and the roads were pretty bad and all the locals just kept honking. Really for no reason. We were stuck at a dead stop at a toll road, and this big truck just kept honking and honking and there wasn`t anything we could do to move. Really sucks as the noise was so loud!
We a full day to see all of Jaipur and it was a much nicer city than Delhi, but still crazy with traffic.
We were off to see
-Red Fort – and even took an elephant up to the top. The best part was the views of the mountains, the worst part was all the people running along our elephant trying to sell us everything under the sun. It really was annoying.
-City palace – The ruling family still lives in the palace and now has a museum as well. The big draw here was the textile and costume section which was fun to see what they used to wear years ago.
-Water palace – a cool palace built in a lake.
-Palace of Winds – couldn`t actually go into this, but from the outside it was tall and impressive looking.
-A cemetery where every ruler was buried including one ruler that was so fat (over 500 pounds), he would kill a wife or girlfriend every night because of his weight. How`s that for till death do we part?
-Our driver, Irfan, offered to take us to a restaurant with live music and dancing which was fun and the Indian Princess even got me on stage to dance, and I`ll take any opportunity to try like the locals. Overall a fun night and great food!
Really a fun day to see it all. We also got to witness our first accident as we saw three motor bikes crash into each other and wipe out. Pretty scary as it was about 1 car length in front of us. With the way the locals drive, we are surprised there aren`t more accidents.
Our big day in India was September 28th. We were off for another 4 hour drive to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. We stopped at the Red Sandstone Palace on the way, which was like a mini Taj Mahal. Very impressive to see as it was all carved out of sandstone. Only bummer was going to see a temple afterward and being harassed to buy stuff including a piece of material to give as an offering. The bargain price was 2,100 rupees (or $50). We had to laugh as there was no way either of us was going to do this and they really tried to guilt trip us into it as we needed to have this to make our 3 wishes for a long life, money and marriage/children. We thought we were ok without this and just wanted to leave the chaos and pushy sellers.
Finally at the Taj Mahal! We hired a guide as we really wanted to learn a lot about it, and our guide Padum did just that. We learned about the building of it, history of how the king built it for his wife (which is why it`s white). We also got to see all the marble outside and tour inside. I can`t even say enough now about it, what it was much more amazing than any photo I`ve ever seen.
Only last eventful thing was our drive back to Delhi airport. After a 4 hour drive, we were about 15 minutes from the airport and we got in an accident. Another car rear-ended us and then admitted it was his fault. After admitting this, he drove off. So a wonderful hit and run accident in Delhi. Debbie and I were both fine. I hit my head on the ceiling and she was looking at me and got a little whiplash. After a few drugs we were both fine and on our way to Nepal.
Golden Tringle Tour India – firstname.lastname@example.org
- The owner we dealt with (who was quick on email) was: Shailendra Sharma phone +919811337375
- Our driver, who was really nice and spoke pretty good English, was named Iffy (Irfan was the full name)
Also, the hotels they arranged for us were:
24/26 Sep Hotel Singh Sons Delhi
26/28 Hotel Mandawa Haveli Jaipur
28/29 Hotel Howard Park Plaza Agra.