India: The First Few Cities
Trip Start Mar 02, 2003
41Trip End Jul 04, 2005
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The first couple days we spent in Delhi, the capital. Home to 13 million people, Delhi is a sensory overload. We arrived very late at night, and even so there were many cars and trucks on the road. One of the first things we noticed as we drove through the nighttime streets were the large numbers of homeless sleeping on the side of the road
In Delhi we visited RajGhat where Gandhi is buried. What a humbling place. Very basic and yet beautiful. We also visited a couple forts and the largest mosque in India(I met a couple Polish women who I helped at the mosque! cool!). Overall, although Delhi was cool, I think we were all happy to leave and go to a smaller city, Agra.
We were only in Agra for a few hours to see the Taj Mahal. The drive there gave us our first taste of India outside the capital city. As we were stopped at one of the toll stations we saw bears with pierced noses being paraded around by their handlers who kept tapping on the car windows trying to get our attention. It was very sad, and frankly made me sick... although I've seen very similar treatment of animals here in Ukraine on Khreshtayk
The Taj Mahal was breath-taking. It was the most expensive place we visited with an entry price of 750 rupees (around $15) but it was worth it. I don't think anyone could leave India without visiting this perfect architectural masterpiece. We wandered around its grounds for a long time and marvelled at the semi-precious stones inlaid into its walls, the beautiful symmetrical gardens, as well as the gorgeous mosques to either side of the Taj itself. I also heard some Russian being spoken while we were there which was a really odd thing to hear.
And then we continued onto Ranthambore...