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Four years ago, I wanted to come to India and visit the Taj Mahal. Having travelled extensively, the Taj was the last of the World wonders that I wanted to visit on my bucket list.
Due to my work, I had only five days for the trip. As I researched further, It occurred to me that I needed more time. There was so much to explore from exploring the buzzing Chandi Chowk in New Delhi to admiring the Taj Mahal at Sunrise. Not to mention, a vast of my short time was to cover three jewels of Rajasthan; Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
As New Delhi is notorious for its chaotic traffic, I decided to shorten my stay and visit the Akarshandam Jain temple. While I did enjoy the architectural aspect and details of the place, I did not enjoy much of the stringent security controls, the lack of access to use our personal phones and cameras.
Then, it was on to Agra a four-hour drive from Delhi.
Arriving in Agra, unwinding from a long day’s drive at the Mehtab Bagh and watching the sunset over the Yamuna river allowed me to grasp the emotions of my first day in India.
The following day was packed with lots to see before heading on to Jaipur. I started off with sunrise at the Taj Mahal. I definitely recommend waking up early to see the Taj at sunrise. My visit lasted for two hours learning about the story and history of the Taj Mahal before moving on to the Agra Red Fort.
Driving between cities in India allows you to discover and feel the charms of India. Like my driver, Zaheer said: “To drive in India, you need three things. Good brakes, Good horn and good luck!” Indeed, driving through India offers a lot of nerve-wracking moments but as well as scenes of cows crossing the highways, crammed rickshaws, people hanging of trucks and buses.
On to Jaipur, where I spent two nights here. The was something special about my stay in Jaipur. I loved visiting the Jaipur flower market. The fragrant smell coming from freshly harvested jasmine, marigold and rose flowers is unforgettable.
Additionally, discovering hidden gems like the Royal Giator heaven of tranquillity amidst the chaos of a bustling city was much needed after a busy day of sightseeing.
I really enjoyed my visit to Jaipur, and as I was on my way to Jodhpur, I somehow got a feeling that I would be back to Jaipur.
My time in Jodhpur evolved around, getting some rest. I enjoyed my afternoon chais on the rooftop of my hotel or getting lost in the narrow streets of the blue city. In the evenings, the call to prayer sounding over the city transported my thoughts back to a remote town in the middle east.
The final leg of my journey took me to Udaipur. I stayed in a hotel nestled on the high part of the old town which overlooked the Pichola Lake. Unwinding and recalling the last few days journey through Rajasthan was really an eye-opening into the Rajasthan and more at large the Indian hospitality. From the numerous encounters on my journey, sharing chais and biryanis with complete strangers who’ve become friends.
I was utterly blown away with what I experienced in such a short amount of time that I was looking forward to my next adventure in India.
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After my first visit to Jaipur four years ago, I have been coming back to this city and lived here for almost a year. The beauty of the town with its hidden gems and the connections I made while living here made it a natural choice as my base while I am in India.