India Travel Diary – Part 1

 

 India - Taj Mahal

Arriving in New Delhi, you are instantly reminded that this is not a first world nation, not even on par with Malaysia, or many other South East Asian countries.  None of the other impoverished nations we visited was quite as upfront and “in your face” as India.  Driving from the airport, we passed shanty towns of metal roofs and scavenged material for walls, dusty dark streets and a layer of grime that seems to penetrate everything.  The capital was only a short pit stop before the mad adventure around the state of Rajasthan began.

India - Agra Fort

Agra by train was a good intro to Indian travel. We made friends with an Indian family sitting beside us in the berth that were traveling 50 hours by train for their daughter’s wedding. They gave us a garland of flowers and offered food.  Agra is overcrowded; the slums house the people that can’t find enough work or affordable housing.  Cows, camels, dogs, rickshaws, cars, bicycles, and motorcycles fight for their right to be on the road.  There is a constant honking that begins early in the morning, and stays unbroken throughout the day.   It tests your patience like no other place. 

 

India - Agra FortAgra has two of India’s most famous historical landmarks; Agra Fort and the majestic Taj Mahal. The politicians have the ability to make this city world class, but corruption and the ever present poverty take away the old world charm.

 

Pictures do not lie.  The Taj Mahal is as majestic and as beautiful as you might expect.  Its gleaming white marble facade is a beacon that makes it difficult to look away.  Seeing it at dawn is certainly the way to go.  The Taj glows in the slanting sun, and the monument’s massive size seems to swallow everything that surrounds it.  The mists rising from the river behind give it a mysterious quality that must have took the breath away of visitors hundreds of years ago. 

India - Taj Mahal

There were many reflective pools and quiet places to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, we had little time to explore the grounds as we had to catch a train that morning; however, it was a sight we will not forget in our whole lifetime. 

BioABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick Macmaster and Tara Avenia are teachers who have worked in Malaysia and parts of Canada.  Their love of travel, photography and video production can be found on their youtube channel.  

 

Have any of these amazing photos inspired you to travel to India?  What sights intrigue you in India?

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