Written by francelvr on 05 Jul, 2008
To most westerners, the word "maharaja" evokes unfathomable wealth, limitless power, and a mysterious exoticism. For centuries maharajas ruled India’s patchwork of kingdoms or “princely states" and built the grand and luxurious forts and palaces that dot the country’s landscape today. Virtually all the…Read More
To most westerners, the word "maharaja" evokes unfathomable wealth, limitless power, and a mysterious exoticism. For centuries maharajas ruled India’s patchwork of kingdoms or “princely states" and built the grand and luxurious forts and palaces that dot the country’s landscape today. Virtually all the sculptures, paintings and wall murals that define “classic India” were created for and by the order of maharajas, the ruling class believed to be descended from heavenly incarnations. Today, the glory days of Indian royalty are over, but the maharajas and maharanis survive, stripped of any real authority, but clinging to their royal lineage like the few remaining European kings and queens. One of the most famous members of this small but exclusive club is the maharajah of Jaipur, whose ancestors built "The Pink City". The royal family has long been known as one of the most glamorous ... and recently, one of the most progressive. Nicknamed “Bubbles”, His Highness Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singhji is the current maharajah. He is the son of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his first maharani, the Maharani Shri Marudhar Kanwar Devi Sahiba, daughter of the maharaja of Jodphur. Born October 22, 1931, the present maharajah assumed his position after the untimely death of His Highness Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II in 1970. Her Highness Maharani Shri Padmini Devi Sahiba, the Maharani of Jaipur, married the current maharajah in 1966. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, the orders and titles given by the Crown to the maharajas of the princely states were declated null and void. Along with their thrones, the subcontinent's maharajas also lost their titles. Man Singh II was the last ruler of the city of Jaipur and oversaw saw the city's transition from a princely state to a secular one. Later he served as India's first Ambassador to Spain and lived in England in the 1950s.Flamboyant, handsome, debonair and elegant, the late maharajah had two principal passions, polo and his third wife, Maharani Gayatri Devi. In 1933, his polo team flattened England’s by winning all major tournaments, a feat never since repeated. The maharajah's romance with Gayatri Devi, the stunningly beautiful princess from Cooch Behar who Vogue magazine once called one of the world’s most beautiful women, is also legendary.Man Singh II was such a fanatical polo player that at one time his residence, the Ram Bagh Palace in Jaipur, was the only private home in the world with its own polo grounds. It was while playing polo in England that he died after being thrown from his horse. In the early 1970s, India’s maharajahs became a target of various reforms implemented by the autocratic Prime Minister Indira Ghandi. “Bubbles” found himself stripped of his official title and for the first time, all of the country’s remaining maharajahs had to begin paying taxes.Sadly, the changes experienced in India during the 20th century seem to have been easier on the Jaipur royal women than on their husbands and sons. With few exceptions (including Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singhji who fought in the Indian Army as a paratrooper), the males died young from complications of severe alcoholism. Perhaps too much time and too much money created a lack of purpose in these men who were fabulously wealthy, well educated, and extremely powerful. At least on the surface, it seems they were in a position where they could have doned things to improve the quality of life for India’s masses who even today, must struggle mightily to make a living for themselves and their families. Thankfully, the present Jaipur maharajah and his family seem well aware of the debt they owe their people and their country. For decades, they have worked to boost tourism in the region, encourage education for both boys and girls (Rajasthan still has a high illiteracy rate, particularly for women), and promote traditional Jaipur handicrafts. It seems their eyes are now firmly fixed on the future rather than on past glories. Close
Written by actonsteve on 06 May, 2001
Jaipur''s most famous building is simply gorgeous. The famous pink facade is seen all over the world advertising India and it is one of the must-see''s of Jaipur. The big surprise is where it is. It is part of the city palace, but overlooks one…Read More
Jaipur''s most famous building is simply gorgeous. The famous pink facade is seen all over the world advertising India and it is one of the must-see''s of Jaipur. The big surprise is where it is. It is part of the city palace, but overlooks one of the main thoroughfares of the Old City and is squeezed between ordinary buildings. So the effect of seeing it for the first time is amazing as it is so unexpected.It is undeniably beautiful. It spreads up and out like a decorous pink and white fan dotted with latticework, screens and balconies. It was designed for the court ladies of Jai Singh to view royal processions without breaking purdah. As someone said, it is rather like a peacock, all show with very little underneath - it only extends one room wide in most places. To get the best view of the Hawa Mahal you must cross the busy street and photograph it from the opposite side. Here enterprising shopkeepers will bother you and say they have a better view from their roof - for a small fee of course.After viewing the Hawa Mahal, my driver Suresh, showed me some other highlights of Jaipur. Down by the lake outside the Pink City is where the elephants are kept. As we drove past there was a herd of about ten pachyderms chowing down on some hay. And their enthusiastic mahouts were perched on their necks and calling to drivers as they passed by. Nearby was the stunning Galta Palace (see picture). This like the famous Lake Palace in Udaipur was built in the centre of a lake and seems to float on its surface. It is built out of yellow sandstone with cupolas and towers and could only be visited on stepping stones when the water is low. As it was the middle of the hot season, this was the case when I visited and skinny buffaloes grazed on the waterweeds exposed by the heat.The next stop was unexpected. I was taken by my driver to a carpet factory in the old city of Jaipur. There I was shown looms that were worked by boys not more then 13 years old. The sight was rather pitiful and I asked to leave. Mentally noting that there is rather an unseemely underside to tourist Jaipur. Close
Written by actonsteve on 07 May, 2001
The Amber Fort is breathtaking. Up there with the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in the great sights of the 'Golden Triangle' and a magnet for hundreds of Indian and foreign tourists. But the fort rises above all the attention to become one of the…Read More
The Amber Fort is breathtaking. Up there with the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in the great sights of the 'Golden Triangle' and a magnet for hundreds of Indian and foreign tourists. But the fort rises above all the attention to become one of the great sights of Asia.Soaring over the city of Jaipur are the Aravalli hills. Perched on each one like sentinels overlooking the town are giant forts. These were built by the Kuchawa Rajputs to defend their kingdom of Amber. The Rajputs were of warrior caste, rather like the knights of medieval Europe. They ruled this part of the world from 1277 to 1727 when Jai Singh moved the capital down to his new city. They constantly vied with the other petty kingdoms of Rajasthan and were loathed by all due to their accomodation with the superpower of the day - The Moghul Empire. Today tourists climb its walls and look out over the Amber valley to the monumental forts overlooking it all.To reach it is very simple. An autorickshaw will not cost you more then fifty rupees from the centre of Jaipur, if you pay him another thirty rupees he will wait for you when you come down and take you home (be careful though it may be via his brother-in-law''s gemstone factory). Or you can even take the bus from outside the Hawa Mahal all the way to the village of Amber. From there you can walk the winding trails to the fort or catch a jeep (100 rupees) or more atmospherically take a painted elephant (450 rupees)and sit on its howdah as it climbs up to the fort. Be careful around the start though the hawkers and touts can be very persistant. I had a child hat-sellar climb into the jeep with me - he so wanted the sale...We took a jeep along the winding roads to the towering fort and through the main gate to the central courtyard - Jaleb Chowk. Yellow sandstone ramparts run all around the courtyard, with topiared gardens in the centre and steps led up to the Shila Mata temple and Maharajah's pavilions. Langurs (monkeys) scampered around while painted elephants took tourists around its cirumference for 50 rupees. I tried the Shila Mata Temple first, dedicated to an aspect of the bloodthirsty goddess Kali. I had to take my shoes off and leave them with an old man. I was grateful for the cool marble on my feet and was caught up in the atmosphere of devotion in the temple.Up to the main royal pavilions took me through Ganesh Pol (elephant gate). As you enter there is a magnificent marble courtyard; on its eastern side is the Diwan-I-am - hall of public audience. This was a maze of cool ruby coloured columns overlooking Jaleb Chowk, the columns were designed to catch the hill breezes and keep the rajahs entourage cool. Through lattice windows the court could look out on a fantastic vista of the valley of Amber below. The mountains opposite were dotted with ruins and forts. From this height Moata Lake could be seen below us with its blue/green waters providing refreshment for horses and elephants. But directly below was another palace, and we could see geometric gardens and the road tumble down to the village of Amber.The rest of the palace was just as beautiful. In places its white walls glittered in the sunlight as they were inlaid with thousands of pieces of silvery glass. Each of the hallways and pavilions was similarly decorated with gold or silver. But the highlight was the Jas Mandir. Myself and a number of tourists entered a darkened octagonal room. A chowdikar (old man) was there with a number of lit matches that he waved in the air. The light reflected off the walls to create a strobic, glittering effect - it was magical to watch the light dance and sparkle in the darkness.Time flew by at the Amber Fort. And it was with real regret that I got back in the jeep and returned to Amber. This is one of the wonders of India and you cannot come away without being entranced by the Amber Fort....... Close
Remember those old portraits with the Maharajah dressed in a turban, dripping with jewels, and reclining on cushions watching dancing girls - well you can see where it happened at the city palace. The Maharajah of Jaipur, Jai Singh, still lives there and his servants…Read More
Remember those old portraits with the Maharajah dressed in a turban, dripping with jewels, and reclining on cushions watching dancing girls - well you can see where it happened at the city palace. The Maharajah of Jaipur, Jai Singh, still lives there and his servants and retainers are still visible and move around the palace dressed in orange turbans and white costumes. For a while you can forget the chaos of Jaipur outside and lose yourself in a world of exotic architecture and ancient rituals.To get perspective its better to get some history of the area. Jaipur is not an old city, it was built in 1727 on the orders of the great Maharajah Jai Singh who moved it away from the cramped conditions up at Amber. The city palace was the heart of the fiefdom and the all-powerful Jai Singh designed most of the city from scratch although it didn''t take on its salmon-pink colour until a visit by Prince Albert in 1856. During the Raj era it got on very well with the British and formed a buffer state between them in Delhi and the Mewar Rajputs down in Udaipur. When independence came they joined with Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur to form Rajputana, which eventually became Rajasthan. Nowadays the Maharajah still maintains his fabulous wealth and respect, and his palace is open to the public as the Sawai Man Singh Museum.It is easily reachable on foot from anywhere in central Jaipur as it forms the heart of the old city. The palace itself takes up around five blocks and incorporates the Hawa Mahal and the Jantar Mantar observatory. Auto-rickshaw drivers know the palace well and a fare shouldn''t cost more then 30 rupees. They congregate outside the entrance and may be very vocal on trying to get your fare when you exit. There are also beggarwomen and child hawkers waiting for visitors but the tourist police keep an eye on them.The first place you enter is the epic Tripolia Gate(see picture) this takes you through to the inner courtyard. This first courtyard contains the Mubarak Mahal, an elegant ivory palace which housed the women of the court, generally the power behind the throne,the Queen Mother. Then it is through the Sarbata Chandra Chowk which was flanked by elephant statues to the great courtyard. Bright pink walls soared above me leading to cool marble corridors. And in the centre was the Diwan-I-Khas - the hall of public audience. This pavilion was made of gleaming white marble and was where the Maharajah would greet visitors. Musicians would play nearby, and ladies of the court would look on wearing colourful saris. The columns, crystal chandeliers and great water jars were still evident. The great water jars were used to hold water from the Ganges for when Jai Singh visited England. He didn''t trust the foreign water, which I think is rather a sweet reversal of the English visiting India today.If you follow the corridors behind the Diwan-I-Khas (which are adorned with exquisite miniatures) you come to the old audience chamber. The dusty exhibts consisted of guns, swords, elephant howdahs, jewels and the largest crystal chandaliers I have seen in my life. With the old servants carefully moving around the palace it was possible to imagine what life was/is for the Maharajah's of Jaipur. The palace is a piece of exotic history that is still living today...and well worth a visit. Close
Written by HELEN001 on 09 May, 2005
Well, if you're ever going to need a broad range of medical treatments when in India, then Jaipur is the place to be. When we arrived, we had all been in denial over the fact that we weren't quite up to scratch on the health…Read More
Well, if you're ever going to need a broad range of medical treatments when in India, then Jaipur is the place to be. When we arrived, we had all been in denial over the fact that we weren't quite up to scratch on the health front. All experienced travellers, with absolutely no history of any stomach troubles ever, there was no way we were going to give into the gradually increasing discomfort that had been lurking for a few days. Until we reached Jaipur, when it all became too much for one of us, who retreated to her room, armed with buckets and a catering pack of loo roll.
Eventually, we realised that a doctor was needed, and we were provided with the details of the 'Tourist Doctor'. A kindly gentleman with an excellent command of English, he arrived within 15 minutes and proceeded to give our friend the benefit of a medical consultation that you would only get if on a private health care plan at home. 'Dysentery', he declared, and already armed with the appropriate drugs, left our friend with a selection of pills and potions to sort things out. The rest of us kept quiet and tried to convince ourselves that all we had was a bit of a stomach upset.
The services of the doctor did not end there, either. After diagnosis, he then maintains 72-hour contact with the patient in the form of phone calls and however many repeat visits are needed. The following day, our friend was already feeling better when disaster struck in the form of a car accident. Another one of our party had gone with our driver to the bank, and the car had been hit on the passenger side by a bus. The car, which would have been a write-off at home, was a mess, but fortunately, our friend, our driver, and some of the bus passengers escaped with cuts and bruises. The bus driver and conductor disappeared off into the wide blue yonder which, according to the police, is not unusual when someone has caused an accident. When our friend returned to the hotel (by taxi), she was obviously very shaken, and we thought it prudent to get medical advice again.
The Tourist Doctor hot-footed it to the hotel, where he once again did his rigorous medical examination and pronounced our friend to be in shock, and her blood pressure was through the roof. (Surprise, surprise!) More drugs were dispensed from his cavernous bag, and both of our friends spent the next two days being attended to by the doctor. Before leaving Jaipur, the doctor provided professionally written medical reports for insurance purposes and accounts of the treatment and drugs dispensed for our friend's doctors. On return to the UK, our doctors were impressed with the Tourist Doctor's treatment and confirmed that the correct drugs had been prescribed. I just wish my sister and I hadn't been quite so complacent about our 'stomach issues' and consulted the doctor at the same time. After leaving Jaipur, the pair of us were eventually hit with dysentery and were ill for weeks on return to the UK. The call-out charges for the doctor, including the 72 hours of aftercare, were about R1500. The cost of any drugs is added to this. The Tourist Doctor's details are as follows:
Dr Rajan Garg
Mobile Phone No: 9828103456
Written by HELEN001 on 07 May, 2005
Well, we’d "done" the Amber Palace and were sitting in the shade of the Suraj Pole (Sun Gate) drinking fresh orange juice. We sat for about an hour while tourist-laden elephants entered the courtyard, deposited their load, and returned to the gate, where each one…Read More
Well, we’d "done" the Amber Palace and were sitting in the shade of the Suraj Pole (Sun Gate) drinking fresh orange juice. We sat for about an hour while tourist-laden elephants entered the courtyard, deposited their load, and returned to the gate, where each one stopped to receive a handful of peanuts from the vendor before heading off back down the hill. "Let’s walk back to town," says my sister, "we can always hop on a bus if it gets too much." Still suffering from the effects of being attacked by a cow in Varanassi, my left hip was not very enthusiastic. However, I was not particularly keen to rush back to the sweltering pollution of crowded Jaipur, either.
So we set off in the wake of a trio of elephants until we reached the footpath that leads down to the lake, past a million souvenir vendors, who we managed to ward off by informing them that the people behind us were really rich.
The steep, flagged stone path affords beautiful views down to the lake and the garden pavilions. The surrounding hills are topped by the impressive defensive walls and watchtowers of the old city. On reaching the bottom of the path, we made our way to the row of cafés frequented by the coach and taxi drivers and bought some supplies of bottled water. It had been a warm morning, and it was becoming a warmer afternoon. There is a good pavement that runs along the side of the lake to the coach park, and we spent a while hanging over the wall watching a couple of elephants enjoying themselves in the water. Sadly, what could have been an excellent spot for a picnic was littered with plastic bottles and piles of litter.
Once past the lake, the pavement disappears and the road narrows and starts to wind up through a steep cut in the hills. The road is quite busy, but because of the incline, the traffic is not fast and there is enough room to walk without being on the tarmac. Tree roots grow down the side of the cutting and small lizards scuttle about on the rocks. Every so often, there was a break in the cutting, where a narrow track would lead off towards a small homestead in a cultivated clearing amidst the acacia trees. Small shrines were cut into the rock face at intervals, and the occasional bit of graffiti could be seen high up in the most inaccessible places. As we walked (or limped in my case), it became obvious that we were a bit of a tourist attraction ourselves. Of course, nearly every auto-rickshaw and taxi slowed down to offer their services, but so too did every vehicle full of both Indian and foreign tourists. They, however, were not offering lifts - they were just having a good stare at us. We got the distinct impression that not many people actually walked this route, especially as we passed nobody else at all on foot.
After about 4km, the road had levelled out and we reached the gate that marks the exit from Amber. Once through, there was a marvelous view right over the valley and the Man Sagar Lake towards Jaipur. The road winds gently downhill from here through the ubiquitous acacia trees, but now interspersed with lush palms and brilliant coloured orange, red, purple, and white bougainvillea shrubs. Curious ruined buildings dotted the side of the road and protruded through the trees.
Eventually, we reached a small group of cafés at the start of the promenade that runs along the length of the Man Sagar Lake. Sitting in a small pavilion, we were joined by two saddhus who we had seen back at the Amber Palace and had just hopped off the bus. After an exchange of pleasantries, we continued along the still-to-be-completed promenade in what was now the sweltering heat of the afternoon.
The last time I was in Jaipur, the side of the lake was just littered waste ground and the lake was practically empty. The Jal Mahal pavilion in the middle of the lake now looked much more photogenic than previously, but the muddy causeway that had connected it to the lakeside seemed to have been removed. The Jal Mahal was built in 1799 as a hunting lodge for duck shooting, and the lake was formed when a dam was built between two hills on the east side of the city. Once the promenade and tree planting along it is completed, this will be a pleasant place to escape from the congestion of the city.
As the cafés we'd passed only sold sweet, fizzy drinks, we hadn't bothered to stop, so when we spotted the Trident Hilton Hotel, we decided to nip in for a fresh juice. Big mistake! First, we were not a pretty sight and definitely not representative of their usual clientele. Second, despite what it said on the menu, their orange juice was not fresh. We won't be staying there in a hurry! We went back out into the scorching sun again, past the end of the lake, over the road works, and through a small local street bazaar. This is the location of many large tourist emporia selling textiles, pottery, and other Rajasthani handicrafts. By this time, we must have been looking pretty scary, as not one tout gave us a second glance, which meant we were free to window shop at leisure.
Once we reached the Joriwar Singh Gate (undergoing renovation) on the north side of the city, we threw in the towel and took an auto-rickshaw back to our hotel. The walk was about 10km, took us a couple of hours, and was well worth the effort. The views were magnificent, the scenery beautiful, and the sunburn a bit sore. If you decide to do it, then carry plenty of water, wear a hat, and be prepared to be an object of curiosity.
Written by Joel on 30 Aug, 2000
If you travel by bus in India you have to be aware of the danger! Overloaded trucks drive in the middle of the road. On the back of each lorry are the words 'BLOWN HORN' painted. You can imagine what kinda concert that is. On…Read More
If you travel by bus in India you have to be aware of the danger! Overloaded trucks drive in the middle of the road. On the back of each lorry are the words 'BLOWN HORN' painted. You can imagine what kinda concert that is. On our way to Jaipur we see a lot of accidents. No wonder if you see ghostriders in front of you all the time and if every vehicle is in a frenzied race to try and pass the one in front. Many roads are single track. The result is disastrous. Pedestrians, cattle and a wide range of animals roam at will. This is of course particularly dangerous when driving after dark especially as even other vehicles often carry no lights... Close
Written by sbmalik on 07 Sep, 2006
City PalaceThe City Palace Complex is located in the heart of the walled city. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture and the royal family still lives in a part of the palace. The founder of Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh has…Read More
City PalaceThe City Palace Complex is located in the heart of the walled city. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture and the royal family still lives in a part of the palace. The founder of Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh has left behind a legacy of some of the most imposing and magnificent architecture, art and craft structure in the city. There is at entrance the Mubarak Mahal, the palace of welcome or reception. Sawai Madho Singh built the palace in the nineteenth century. It was used as a reception centre for the visiting personage. Mubarak Mahal now forms the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. Wide array of royal costumes, some very exquisite and precious Pashmina (Kashmiri) Shawls, Benaras silk saris, Sanganeri prints and folk embroidery are on display here.The Maharani's Palace, the palace of the Queen provides a display of the Rajput weaponry. Diwan-I-Aam, which literally means the Hall of public audience, exhibits some very precious and ancient handwritten original manuscripts of Hindu scriptures, very delicate miniature paintings of Rajasthan, Mughal and Persian schools. Diwan-E-Khas meaning hall of private or selective audience has a marble paved pavilion. The world largest sterling silver object of two gigantic silver vessels is on display here. The Guinness Book of Records accounts it as the biggest silver objects in the world. Jantar MantarJANTAR MANTAR, one of the five observatories in India is across the road from the city palace. Built by Sawai Jai Singh, who had a passionate hobby in the field of Astronomy, Numerology, this continues to provide accurate information to this day.Hawa MahalThis palace of winds (hawa in Hindi) was built by the Poet King Sawai Pratap Singh. Hawa Mahal is the most easily recalled landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. It is best viewed from the outside for the palace is really a facade. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a stunning example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its pink delicately honeycombed 953 sandstone windows known as 'Jharokhas'. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort. The Jal Mahal Palace, situated in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, is noted for its intricate architecture. The first four floors of this building are under water; only the top floor remains outside. The palace is being renovated. One can have a wonderful view of the lake and the palace from Nahargarh Fort.The Palace was used for the royal duck shooting parties. The Lakshmi - Narayan Temple or Birla Mandir is surrounded by large lush green gardens. The temple has been constructed in white marble and has three domes, each portraying the different approaches to religion.Amber FortThe majestic fort is located 11 km outside the city. Amber Fort is the work of three of the Jaipur rulers that include Man Singh, and Jai Singh I and II. The fort is approached from a steep ramp. You can either go by a local car or ride up on elephant back, though it is now discouraged after a recent accident. Entry is through the grand Singh Pol gateway. From the courtyard you see two flights of steps, one leading to Shila Mata complex with its enshrined image of the goddess, and the other to the main palace complex. Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway painted with images of the elephant-headed god, greets you when you move through the courtyard. Diwan-i-Aam or hall of the public audience has a spectacular display of pillars. Shimmering mirrors encrust the walls of the Sheesh Mahal. Amber Fort is an architectural mix of the Rajput and Mughal styles. Close
Chokhi Dhani VillageChokhi Dhani, the ethnic Rajasthan village complex is located about 35 km outside Jaipur. You can spend an evening entertaining yourself with rides on camel, elephant, horse, bullock carts etc. There are various stalls selling traditional handicrafts. Local artists perform and display the…Read More
Chokhi Dhani VillageChokhi Dhani, the ethnic Rajasthan village complex is located about 35 km outside Jaipur. You can spend an evening entertaining yourself with rides on camel, elephant, horse, bullock carts etc. There are various stalls selling traditional handicrafts. Local artists perform and display the dances like snake dance, other folk dances, puppet shows. The best part of the evening is the sumptuous Rajasthan meal. The cost of meal is included in your entrance fee of Rs. 250. Served on a palm leaf plate, the dishes are rich and the variety is excellent. You have to refuse second helpings so as to be able to go through the various courses. We best liked the Khichri, a dish of pulses and wheat served with ghee and gur. Variety of chapattis (bread) made of wheat, bajra, corn with white butter to help in digestion are a delight. Close
Written by Joel on 29 Aug, 2000
When I think of India, the most unlikely images run hauntingly through my head. Deities, gods, rituals, superstition, colours, flavours, poverty, karma, castes and lots and lots of people, to mention only a few. And what's so unusual about all these things is, is that…Read More
When I think of India, the most unlikely images run hauntingly through my head. Deities, gods, rituals, superstition, colours, flavours, poverty, karma, castes and lots and lots of people, to mention only a few. And what's so unusual about all these things is, is that I'm not able to understand them all in the way they are meant to be. Even after I've been travelling around in the northern parts of India - Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh - for three weeks there's still some of those subjects of which I don't know their exact meaning. I think it takes a least one whole year travelling through India to understand the Indian habits and culture.
These three weeks have allowed me to get to know more about the people and to understand a little part of their way of life. When I decided to go to India I knew that it would ask for some precaution and exertion. As I say so, I don't only mean to be physically prepared for the trip but maybe even more mentally. I've lost 5 kilo in 23 days. And not because there's no good food in India. On the contrary, the Indian kitchen has a very rich assortment of delicious and tasty food, but most of it is vegetarian. And then the heat. Never in my life I've sweat so much. The heat is exhausting. Therefore I drank liters of mineral water and cold drinks every day. The rush and the unusual pressure. A lot of the Indian people live on the street. They are poor, but they don't look unhappy. You have to be strong to face the filthiness, the poverty, the primitivism, the beggars, the stir and the heavy traffic. And traffic is very dangerous. I closed my eyes twice thinking that would be the end of my life. They drive like crazy. If you think you can manage all that, I'm sure you're gonna have a wonderful, unforgettable time in India because India is one of the most richly rewarding regions of the world to visit. Its openness and friendliness make it increasingly rare among major travel destinations. And one thing's for sure; it will change your life!
Have a look at http://nextdada.luc.ac.be/travel/india.html Close