As many of you know, I spent some time in India February through March of 2015. Primarily for work, but it provided a great opportunity to explore different cities in India. I had a vague idea of what India was going to be like, in my head very similar to Nigeria, but in a lot of ways it was very different.
My first trip took me on a 3 day adventure to 4 different cities. A group of 8 of us took a flight from Hyderabad (my base) to Jaipur aka the pink city(where we spent the night). The next started off early with a quick driving tour to see the pink Palace, then we made a 4 hour trip to visit Ranthambore National Park, hoping to see Tigers in the wild. We did two tiger tours, evening and early morning one, alas only 2 people in the group saw a tiger( there were in a different jeep from the rest of us). Then we took a 7 hour bus ride to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and Agra Fort. We took yet another 5 hour drive to Delhi, where we raced to the airport to catch our flights back to Hyderabad. We spent a lot of time driving in a van that had a huge tourist sign on the front of it.
Besides our disappointment at not seeing any tigers at the park, we saw a lot of animals; deer galore- Whole family of deer, mama Sambar deer, papa sambar deer, baby samba deer, lol we saw so many of them within the first 30 minutes that I was already over them by the end of the first tour lol. A lot of them came really close to our jeeps which was cool, but again there were so many of them that I started praying a tiger or Leopard (sightings are rare), would get hungry and come snatch one of the deer, hahahahahah, no such luck though. The monkeys however made up for the lack of tiger sightings. We spent almost 30 minutes just hanging out with monkeys, and yes, I got to feed a monkey some of my tasty almonds, their hands felt like little leathery baby hands. Off course immediately after I proceeded to douse my hands with antibacterial gel, and reverently pray that I didn’t catch some weird unexplainable diseases from the monkeys, lol. It was a fun experience.
The Taj Mahal blew my mind away. I decided not to do any reading on the Taj before going to visit, I knew we would have a tour guide, so I just wanted to be in the moment, i.e right in front of the Taj when I heard her story for the first time, and boy was I amazed by her beauty. The accompanying story and history brought it all together for me. We got to the Taj Mahal before sunrise so we got to watch the sunrise while listening to the guide tell us her history and watching the gems stones on the outside of the building glisten as they caught the sunlight. Breathtaking. After our tour, we made our way over to the Red Fort which was initially built as a military structure, a moat around the fort used to house crocodiles, but later turned into a Palace, and wait for it….. became a prison for Shah Jahan, the guy who built the Taj Mahal, after his son seized power and threw him in prison lol. Crazy right, go read the story of the Taj Mahal, better yet go visit the Taj Mahal, I highly recommend it.
Enjoy the Pictures
Stay tuned for part 2