India Journals

Loving and Hating India

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An October 2003 trip to India by beautysan

Horn please! Photo, India, Asia More Photos
Quote: India is a place most people love to hate and hate to love. It is vast, exotic, interesting, and frustrating at the same time. People from industrialized countries will get terrible culture shock when they first arrive. Nonetheless, India has unbeatable sights to amaze you beyond words.

H.K. Choudhary Guest House

Hotel | "HK Choudhary Guesthouse"

H.K. Choudhary Guest House Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
I do not recommend this guesthouse. When we correspond through email, they promised a room with air-conditioning, but it turned out to be an air-cooler filled with dust. The bedroom was small, with no window, giving us the feeling of being in a prison cell. The clogged drain in the attached bathroom caused dirty water to overflow into the room! It was a total nightmare on our first night in India. Besides the attractive price of Rs200 per person in a triple room, I wouldn't recommend this guesthouse to anyone except my biggest enemy.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 19, 2006

H.K. Choudhary Guest House
H - 35/3, Connaught Circus
New Delhi, India 110 001
+91 (11) 23322043

Taj Mahal

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Attraction | "Taj Mahal - The Marble Jewel of India"

Taj Mahal Photo, Agra, India
Quote:
The Taj Mahal is a tomb of timeless beauty built by a Mughal emperor named Shah Jahan, and undeniably the ultimate must-see in India. The romantic, but sad love story of the Taj has touched many hearts and earns her fame the world over. Best time to see the Taj is at dawn and at sunset. If you want to avoid the crowds, dawn is the best time to visit. You will have the entire place all to yourself. Other times, the Taj is swarming with domestic and international tourists. Queueing up to get a ticket is a nightmare, especially if you are not used to jumping queues. To save time, hire a local guide and he will shamelessly jump the queue and you just need to act innocent and hang on to him dearl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2006

Taj Mahal

Agra, India

Bahai Temple Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
Delhi came as a shock to me. Visitors need to take in Delhi slowly to adjust to the differences from back home. Despite the dust and stench everywhere you go, Delhi is not lack of attractions. The main attractions in old Delhi are the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. Visitors who are planning to visit the neighbouring Rajasthan could give these two sites a skip if time does not permit. Another site worth mentioning was the Raj Ghat—the memorial for Mahatma Gandhi stands with the eternal flame. Not too far away from Delhi is the magnificent Baha'i Temple. The temple is built from white marble in the shape of an opening lotus flower. The temple is VERY clean and quiet, which is a rare sight in India....Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 17, 2006

Culture Shock and Annoyances

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Story/Tip

Horn please! Photo, India, Asia
Quote:
I have never been to a place so amazingly different from anywhere else I've ever seen in the world. On the first day we arrived in Delhi, our arranged transport picked us up at the airport. The traffic outside was chaotic. The polluted air almost choked me, and our driver seemed to enjoy shocking us by his crazy driving skills. Our driver told us that driving in India requires three things: a good horn, good brakes, and good skills. True enough, using horn is a way of life here. In fact, people are encouraged to use horn to signal, "Watch out, I'm coming!" There will never be a minute of silence on the streets of India. At traffic lights, beggars going from car to car is a common scene. Whil...Read More

Our Driver from Hell - Umesh

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Story/Tip

Camel Safari Photo, India, Asia
Quote:
Our driver Umesh, whom we hired from a travel agent in Delhi, is a weird character. At the beginning of the journey,he showed us his guestbook that he passed to his clients to sign or write comments. We were shocked to read many complaints about him in the guestbook!(He doesn't know about the complaints, since he does not read English.) We were dreading what was to come next, but it was already too late to get off, as we were on the highway already. True enough, he is a very stubborn and hot-tempered fellow who will not listen to what you want and insists on following his own decisions. He did not want us to go shopping or to restaurants on our own but insisted on bringing us to places where...Read More

The Good Samaritan

Story/Tip

The Villagers in Bikaner Fort Photo, India, Asia
Quote:
As we were having our nightmare with our driver from hell and totally demotivated to get to know any other locals in India, a good samaritan surprised us with his kindness. We got a flat tire in a remote village and our spare was out of air! Our driver, Umesh, had to go to the nearest mechanic, who was a couple of miles away. So we were left beside the road in this remote village planted with cherry trees with the car. A villager turned up on his bicycle and examined our car and us, without saying a word. Then he disappeared into his village. We assumed that he was just a curious onlooker. After half an hour, he appeared again, this time his pocket full of cherries! He said,&n...Read More

Highlights of Rajasthan

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Story/Tip

City Palace Photo, India, Asia
Quote:
Rajasthan is so vast and diversed we had to spend 7 days just to explore half of it. Our first stop was Jaipur, the tourists paradise in Rajasthan. Amber Fort dominates the northern horizon, the city palace, and Hawa Mahal in the city centre itself. The pink city is also famous for its mango Lassi. Lassi Wallah, at MI road, is highly recommended. We also checked out the famous Rambargh Palace Hotel. Despite all the modernization and development, beggars are still plaguing the city, chasing tourists around for money and food. We stopped at Pushkar next, a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is a "supposedly" a holy city, where smoking and even drinking are not allowed within the city itse...Read More

Fatehpur Sikri

Story/Tip

Fatehpur Sikri Photo, India, Asia
Quote:
One of the greatest highlights in my trip to India was Fatehpur Sikri, its out-of-this-world haunting beauty was unbeatable by others. It served as the Mughal centre for 15 years before the court shifted back to Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was an abandoned city. The ghost palaces looked its best at dawn and dusk, as sunlight and shadows whirl across the barren palace buildings. Although hastily constructed, Fatehpur Sikri never fails to cast a haunting spell on the visitors, making it one of my top favourite attractions in India.