I just returned from a fantastic tour of India. During my tour I had the opportunity to visit Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The first thing that strikes you is the traffic and number of people. They have four lanes of traffic, as a suggestion, but there are seven lanes with people, bicycles and motorcycles weaving between the traffic.
We were able to visit New and Old Delhi and observe how the British influenced the look and feel of the country. In Agra, we made a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal … It was amazing! The pictures make the place look unreal, but it is beautiful. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, for the tomb of this favorite wife and he was also buried there. As the sun rose over the Taj it just simply lit up all of its surroundings. We learned that the minarets that surround the tomb, actually lean outwards so that if they ever fell, they would not land on the mausoleum. There are inlaid marble designs at the Taj, which is still being made by descendants of the masters who did the original inlays.
Fort Agra is where the emperor lived protected by his army. The palace is now open to the public now and the remainder of the grounds are occupied by the current army. The palace has a view of the Taj Mahal and when the emperor was imprisoned there he was able to see the Taj daily.
Following Agra, we were on to Jaipur. We visited the Water Palace and rode elephants up to Amber Fort. The fort was surrounded by a wall similar to the Great Wall of China.
Everywhere we visited, the people were very friendly. We visited shops that made and sold saris, camel hair rugs, jewelry and souvenirs. It was a fabulous trip and our tour operator, Culture Holidays, did a fantastic job of showing us India.