The Taj Mahal

Built by the blood and sweat of the living to commemorate the regius dead, the Taj Mahal strikes the heart with two and a half tons of majestic beauty.


Final Night in Jaipur

During my last evening in Jaipur, I visit the oldest museum in Rajasthan, the Albert Hall Museum. Inside, I admire the exquisite decor and myriad of paintings, sculptures and textiles from India and other regions of the world (including ancient Egypt).

Afterwards, I enjoy a traditional Rajasthani dinner and head back to my treehouse hotel, Jaipur Inn. Overall, my stay in Jaipur is bittersweet: although I’ve learned so much, met so many amazing people and seen things forever ingrained in memory, two days had not been enough. I could have done so much more with more time. In other words, if you are planning a trip to the Golden Triangle, do yourself a favor and stay at least 4-5 days in Jaipur.

Forts, Cattle and Rustic Views

Because Jaipur is vast and eclectic in so many ways, this post will be separated into different categories. The first is Hawa Mahal. Built in 1799, this “royal honeycomb” was used mainly by princesses and aristocratic women to view street parades via one of its 953 windows.

This category is called Meandering with a View. At the bottom of the Aravalli Hills, I tell Suresh to drop me off so that I may walk to Nahargarh Fort. “Are you crazy?” he says, “It’s 6km uphill!” Following a flock of blue peacocks, I disregard his warning and immerse myself in the sights and sounds of nature.

In my opinion, Nahargarh Fort has the best panoramic views of Jaipur. In addition, there is a cool sculpture gallery and plenty of monkeys to keep your camera clicking.

This last category contains modern sculptures constructed by local artists. My favorite is the blue-faced beauty, Migrant, by Ravinder Reddy. Located in elegantly-decorated rooms, there are 25-30 unique sculptures in all.


Hello Jaipur

After escaping heavy traffic in Delhi, my driver Suresh scorches down the highway towards Jaipur (the second point of the Golden Triangle). Here I am introduced to the proud and spirited Rajasthani culture. Arriving in the late afternoon, I hurry to the Old City and begin exploring the architectural wonders of Amer Fort.


Humayun (and his barber’s) Tomb

Before the world-renowned Taj Mahal, there was Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, India. Constructed in the mid-1500s for Mughal Emperor Humayun, the site includes tombs for his first wife, great-great grandson, barber and many significant others.


The Old and the New

Located in Southern Delhi, Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple are must-sees for all visitors.


Good Morning, Delhi

Incredible India is a slogan used throughout Delhi. Quickly I start to understand why: friendly and interesting people, delicious food, appreciation for music and art, ornate architecture, respect for animals, resourcefulness, vast transportation system and most importantly, spiritual tolerance. Everywhere there are temples, mosques, ghats and churches of all shapes and sizes where people are free to pray, chant, worship or just hang out throughout the day and night. Although each place has its own set of rules (posted or unsaid), everyone is generally welcomed with open arms.

After walking from my hotel to the train station, a tuk-tuk driver recommends that I visit a government-approved travel agency called Travel Expeditions. Here I hire a Rajasthani driver named Suresh to guide me around the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra). Little would I know this wise but volatile man would lead me on an unforgettable journey for 5 days.

Our tour starts at a majestic Sikh Temple where birds fly overhead to the symphony of chants, tablas, bells and a harmonium. Here I learn about the religion, Sikhism, and its elaborate history and culture.