4 cities in 4 days in India
25 hours / 16.023km by plane
14 hours / 656km by train
29 hours / 563km by car
My Big India Adventure! :)
I never planned to go to India... Egypt - yes, Thailand - yes, China - yes, but India? Not really...
And then, I went to explore Jaipur!
First I´ve seen "Hawa Mahal" Palace of the Winds. The intricate and fascinating facade of the Palace of the Winds is probably Jaipur's most recognized building. Constructed in 1799, it has five floors that contain rows of small windows and screens. Wind used to flow through the openings, giving the palace its name. However, the wind has now gone from the Wind Palace as most of the windows have been sealed shut. Legend has it that the palace, which overlooks the main street of Jaipur's lively Old City, was built so that the women of the royal household could watch the streets below without being observed.
I saw few beautiful gates, market and elephants on the way to Amber Fort....
Amber Fort and Palace was my highlight of the Jaipur sight-seeing - I liked it a lot!
Around half an hour's drive from the city center, like something out of a fairy tale, Amber Fort is set on a hill top overlooking Maota Lake. It was the original home of Rajput royalty until Jaipur city was constructed, and contains a number of breathtaking palaces, halls, gardens, and temples. Inside, the elaborate mirror work adds to the grandeur. The fort entrance is reached by walking up the hill, going in a jeep, or taking a lurching elephant ride.
On the way back to the hotel I stopped to take a picture of Government Central (Albert Hall) Museum. This old and famous museum was modeled on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Its collection includes portraits of local kings, costumes, woodcarvings, paintings, and arts and crafts.
I slept few hours and my second train journey begin early in the morning... After more than 6 hours I got to Agra - my final destination! Finally :)
My friend with her dad were waiting for me at the train station and we went to their house, had a nice lunch, we talked and laughed :)
After a little rest we were ready to visit the place I wanted to see the most - TAJ MAHAL! :)
Taj Mahal was built in 22 years (1631-1653) with the orders of Shah Jahan and it was dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Bano Begum), the wife of Shah. Although such a devotion to a wife reaching to build a monument seemed like a weakness for an emperor, Shah Jahan was clearly determined. He chose a peaceful site by the River of Jumna about one and a half miles away from Agra on the southern edge of the city, where could be seen from the Agra Fortress. The closeness to the river also met the water need for the construction and garden.
20.000 workers labored and 32 crore rupees were spent during the construction of the monument and it was built according to Islamic architecture. It is one of the Unesco world heritage site.
Taj Mahal means the’ Place of the Crown’ because; Taj means “Crown” and Mahal means “place”.
It is told that Shah Jahan got the hands of his sculptors and architects cut off so that they would never be able to build a monument as magnificent and beautiful as the Taj again and he even got their eyes pulled out so that they would never be able to witness anything bigger and more beautiful than the monument that they had built during their lifetime. But our guide told us it wasn´t true...
This place is simply amazing... It is truly beautiful!
This was my last and the best place I visited on my travels across India, and I am happy I saved it for last :)
Next early morning I took a cab to Delhi airport (4 hours), I had a flight to Dubai (3,5 hours) and the last plane was to Gatwick (8 hours) where my friend waited for me.
I had a wonderful time in India and it was only because of my lovely friend, Tanisha, who organized, planned and booked everything for me - she was on the phone with me all the time, helping me to find my cab drivers, hotels, trains... her family was so nice to me, very welcoming, and they cooked nice Indian food for me :)
Thank you sooo much for EVERYTHING! Without all of you my trip wouldn´t be so awesome!