India Travel Diary – Part 2

 

India - Ranthambhore nightAfter Agra, we decided to get away from cities and see a little of the countryside, arriving at Sawai Madhopur, home to a large tiger reserve. We stayed at a fabulous Eco resort that works hard to protect the remaining 25 Bengal Tigers in the park. An early morning safari trip on an open topped truck allowed us to see the wildlife of Ranthambhore National Park, but alas, no tigers seen.  Most people go on multiple safaris to increase their chances, but our time was limited, and instead, we spent the second day hiking and exploring the ancient fort overlooking the National Park.  The peacefulness of this short stop was a welcome respite from the hectic nature of this country.

After a couple days recharging in serenity, we travelled by train to Jaipur, a city of 4 million.  We spent our first day here walking the streets and bazaars selling vibrant textiles, crafts, and designs. Here, everyone was our friend and “special deals” were everywhere!

India - Jaipur Amberfort

Jaipur – Amberfort

India - Jaipur Amberfort

Jaipur – Amberfort

India - Jaipur

Jaipur – Incredible shopping

We ate lunch at a popular place allowing us to sample local Rajasthani food that is filled with so much flavour it is difficult to stop eating.  The next morning we went on the ride of our lives, ascending 4000 feet in the air in a hot air balloon.  The views of the countryside, forts and distant Jaipur city were to die for, and luckily, we never ran out of fuel to find out!

India - Jaipur Air Balloon Panorama

India - Jaipur Air Balloon

The whole experience was just over an hour but was enough to last a lifetime. Landing in a farmer’s field as dozens of local villagers ran to see us provided great photo opportunities and memories that we will never forget. The whole experience was certainly worth the money.

India - Jaipur Balloon Landing

Travelling to Udaipur, we spent Christmas watching the sunset alone on the roof of our hotel overlooking the city, lake and mountains of Southern Rajasthan. Romantic to say the least!

India - Udaipur Panorama

Udaipur SilhouetteEscaping the insanity of Jaipur, this city was much more calm and inviting.  We spent much of our time wandering from restaurant to bar, enjoying the food and drink.  A section of the old fort was closed due to a wedding that evening, but it was interesting to see the immense preparations that go into an event like that.  Hundreds of chairs, tables, streamers, lights, and of course flowers.  Labelled the “Romantic city”, we certainly saw where it gets its name from.  The cupola-crowned city of cream, rose and honeysuckle hues painted a landscape that was hard to leave.

Check out last weeks blog post India Travel Diary – Part 1 for more things to see and do in India.

 

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.  

 

Is India on your bucket list?  What cities or landmarks would you travel to in India?

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