Delhi is India’s largest city and has changed and grown large over the years, it originates with the ancient walled city of Old Delhi. It has beautiful architecture, numerous amazing monuments and age-old temples, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun's Tomb.
We visited a local Sikh temple and along with the amazing structure it is we were able to look through the kitchen where daily 10-12 thousand hungry people are fed each day, check out the sizes of the wok!
Agra, famous for the Taj Mahal, awe-inspiring structure of elegant domes and white marble, constructed specifically as the final resting place for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s third and favourite wife, a tribute to his eternal love for her. Coming in second is the red Agra Fort, another remarkable historical site.
Ranthambore National Park, a massive 1300 square kilometre stretch of country, here our group were super privileged to have sightings of six Bengal tigers; males, females and cubs! A large male bathing in a rock hole only meters from our jeep, a gorgeous female walking along a two-wheel dirt track with us, a mum with a kill, numerous peacocks, deer, monkey, mongoose and more.
However the most amazing sighting I have had yet and will not be forgotten, our driver heard some animals using a warning call, we found them, a large number of deer and like animals were standing around the edge of a dry creek bed, on the other side was a leopard! A mother monkey carrying a very young had jumped to make getaway from the approaching leopard and dropped the infant, the deer and like stood firm and made the most extraordinary warning calls, attempting to stop the leopard coming in to get that infant monkey, unfortunately it didn’t work, but the leopard didn’t attempt to attack the deer either – amazing to witness!
The Pink City (or Jaipur), a popular destination for those on a first-time trip to India, and worthy of it! Here we explore the Amber Fort which commenced its construction in 1592! We rode elephants to the top, and a different but not much quicker due to traffic, jeep ride down!
Varansi, a sacred city, situated on the edge of the River Ganges. It is considered the spiritual capital of Hinduism, and it’s widely believed that dying here will bring salvation. Here cremations are performed and the ashes are placed in the River, and whilst on a sunset cruise I witnessed this process. Also we viewed a highly choreographed Aarti Ceremony; this is performed every evening at sunset by a group of young Hindu priests.
Varanasi is one of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage centres. It is believed that after attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, it was here that Lord Buddha preached his first sermon; there is also a mass of archaeological findings and ancient remains of Buddhist stupas, monasteries and temples.
All in all an amazing trip! If you have India on your radar, come and speak to me!