India Journals

The Land of the Maharajahs

A January 1986 trip to India by Chryselle

Quote: I was lucky enough to spend the first 8 years of my life in India. Cows, rickshaws, monsoons, acrobats and the occasional snake-wearing priest became a part of my everyday existence. I took all these wonders for granted, not realizing how much I would miss them a few years later.

The Land of the Maharajahs

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Overview

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One of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in Indian culture is to eat Indian food. India is a country of contrasts, especially when it comes to local delicacies. Every little town and region has its own cooking style and culinary specialty. You'll soon realize this when you go to restaurants specializing in Moghul, Maharastrian, Goan, Gujarati, South Indian, or Punjabi foods for example (the list goes on and on).A quick point about Indian food: North Indian cuisine is usually rich and contains cream, milk, and cheese. So curries from this area are thick and savory but not pungent. Curries from South India, on the other hand, are relatively thin and extremely spicy, but just as savory as the ones ...Read More

Taj Mahal

Attraction | "Agra and the majestic Taj Mahal"

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A visit to India is not complete without a tour of the Taj Mahal. Located in the town of Agra, the Taj Mahal is the epitome of true love and devotion. It was built by the grief-stricken Mumtaz Mahal in 1612 as the final resting place for his wife who died in childbirth.

If you can, try to find a nice spot to view the structure during sunset. The sun reflects off the marble causing the entire monument to glow with brilliant shades of vermillion.

The admission cost for tourists is $18.50 USD (500 Rupees) and $0.50 (15 Rupees) for Indian Nationalists.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

Taj Mahal

Agra, India

Tropical Goa

Attraction

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Visit Goa, a veritable tropical paradise. The moment you bury your feet in the warm, golden sand and smell the salty, spiced air, you'll realize why most people call this place a gem. Goa is home to exotic wildlife, arcadian beaches, flamboyant traditions and one of the friendliest set of locals anywhere! Being Goan, I got the opportunity to attend a traditional Goan wedding in Calangute. It was a blend of Portuguese and ethnic traditions. The bride wore traditional Portuguese white lace and satin and everyone spoke Konkani (a Portuguese-Indian dialect). We jived and danced to Konkani masala music (a goan take on traditional masala music), ate spicy goa sausages, rice, kulfi and other ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

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I sincerely believe that Uttarakhand’s Valley of Flowers is India’s “Secret Garden.” Located in the Himalayan ranges of the Garwhal hills, Valley of Flowers National Park is carpeted with some of the most colourful and heavenly-scented species of flora in the world. The best time to trek this botanist’s paradise is from mid-April to mid-August. Be advised, overnight stays are strictly forbidden as many of the nocturnal flowers emit life-threatening gases.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

R & R in Lonavala

Attraction | "R & R in Lonavala"

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If you’ve ever seen a Hindi movie then you’ve probably already gotten your first glimpse of Lonavala. This quaint "hill station" is well known among locals for being a popular R&R hideaway. Though I must say, after a bumpy car ride over craggy mountains (called "ghats") and crooked roads, you certainly will deserve some much needed rest and relaxation! The best way to get to Lonavala is by train. All Bombay-Pune trains make regular stops at Lonavala. There’s also the option of flying to Pune airport and then taking a connecting train. While travelling to Lonavala, try to make a stop at one of the tiny, and sometimes ancient, Hindu shrines scattered through...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

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The Gateway of India The Gateway of India, the great big structure that sits lazily on the shore of the Arabian sea, is a monument to British Royalty. It is also the starting point of most tours. It was built in 1912 to commemorate King George V's first visit to India. Ironically, it was also the exit point of the last set of British troops in India. The Gateway is built from yellow Kharodi basalt and reinforced concrete. It is positioned at an angle to the main road, making it a perfect focal point for postcard-quality pictures. When visiting the "Gateway of India," don't forget to click a few shots of the "Floating Temple." This spectacular Parsi temple is conne...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2003

Bombay - Crammed with juxtapositions

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Story/Tip

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Immortalized by Bollywood, frequented by industry giants, despised by environmentalists, loved by dreamers--Bombay is a city of carefully chosen contradictions. From its modern sense of style to its classic structures, Bombay provides ample nourishment for the imagination! Bandra Be christened by the sea at Bandstand, Bandra. Bandstand is the meeting place of one of the liveliest set of people in all of Bombay. From travelling midways to full-fledged concerts (it’s quite amusing to watch a truck full of actors pull up along the side of the street, set-up, perform and then drive away before you can say "supercalafragilisticexpialidocious"), you’ll always find ample to see and e...Read More