We’re running to our overnight train for Nagpur and Seoni, so I’ve got to make quick work of this post. Here are some photo highlights from Day 4-7 in Jaipur and Agra, which are two of the three points of the Golden Triangle (Delhi being the third).
Dana (finally) joined us on our last day in Delhi, and is universally loved by our male guides and driver. Apparently there is a word that sounds roughly like “dyena” that means the devil. Kimi thinks that’s pretty funny.
As per usual, all pictures are by myself and my mom, Margie.
India’s got lots of cool animals that previously I’ve only seen in the zoo.
In Rajasthan, camel power is the cheapest form of transportation, so we saw plenty of camels on the way from Jaipur to Agra.
Mom captured this monkey on top of a dome in the Amber Fort. We haven't seen too many of these buggers so far as they tend to hide from the sun during the day. Smart.
This boy and his horse took us up to the Taj Mahal. The guides were laughing at how he was more interested in how much we were going to tip him than the fee he was getting from the company.
Cows are sacred in India and are thought of as "the mother", so you see them wandering all over the place in the cities. Some are owned, but some have been abandoned by their owners because they've stopped producing milk. There is a government agency that gathers them up and takes them to sanctuaries where they're taken care of. Not many steaks around here...
ON THE ROAD
We’ve spend a lot of time on the road over the past couple days (10 hours total), so we’ve seen a lot of stuff along the way. It’s been fun, but we’re looking forward to the train.
Here's a typical marketplace in Noida, which is outside of Delhi. Shopping here was a bit intimidating as we were constantly hounded, but we did get a good deal on shoes for Dana (two pairs for 500 rupee, or about $12). I can see how many tourists opt for the airconditioned tourist shops.
We saw these two ladies on a detour through some villages on the way to Agra. The women of the Rajasthan provence are the most colourful yet.
This is a "bus" that offers service between towns and villiages on the highway. Not uncommon to se 10-15 people in these things.
This truck is carrying hay "fodder" for the cows and buffalo. We say one that was broken open along the road. No idea how they were going to sort that one out.
BANDA SINGH BAHADUR
Our guide Kimi is a very proud Sikh and has been taking good care of us (read: cold beers) and teaching us all about his religion. During our stay in Agra there was a procession for the Banda Singh Bahadur, who was one of the greatest Sikh warriors against the Mughals in the 1600s. We were very honoured that Kimi let us take a close look at this special event.
This bus contains a Sikh bible, and is an important part of the procession, which ends up in the Golden Temple. The whole trip takes more than a month.
This is Kimi on the left explaining some Sikh history to my dad. Note the Banda Singh's Sword in the background.
Much like how travelling in Europe is all about visiting castles and churches, while travelling in India you see a lot of amazing monuments and buildings. My mom and I took hundreds of photos of these places, so I’ll just give you a sampling.
This is the world's largest sun dial, and can accurately display the time within 2 seconds. This observatory, dating back to 1727, is called Jantar Mantar and sports some very impressive astrological equipment.
Even though this is the off season, the Taj Mahal attracts plenty of visitors. Among the hippy-yoga tourists and white rich people like ourselves, there were many Indians from around the country. The place also sees a lot of Muslim pilgrims who visit the mosque.
I'm sure you've seen this one before, but we couldn't resist. Contrary to the rumours we heard, the Taj is HUGE and very impressive. Again, appologies for the crooked photo, one of my legs must be longer than the other.
It’s often been said that the people of India are very photogenic. Definitely true.
These two guys were watching our tour guide talking to my folks and sister. They are standing beside the "emperor" sized bed of Akbar.
Vendors like these can be found outside of all of India's monuments. They get top marks for persistency, but we generally do an OK job of ignoring them until they give up and go away.
The Amber Fort is still the home of the King of Jaipur, who decends from the great Maharaja's of the past. He commands a great deal of respect from the people because of his bravery in the India / Pakistan war.
We found this goatherd on the highway to Agra.
This was one of the gardeners at Jai Singh's astronomical observatory.
In just a few hours we’ll be on the train to my grandmother’s birthplace in Seoni. Gloria, the lady who currently lives in the bungalow, was taught English by my grandmother and will be showing us around her home and the grounds.