I've spent a large amount of time in India, (around 1 year if you add my 5 trips together) and I've seen many places - although there's still so much more that I haven't seen. I have only explored North India and would love to venture further south - but that's a plan for the future! For now, I'll tell you a little about some of my best experiences in India.
I have to start with the Taj Mahal right?! It really is as good as they say though! To start with, it's huge. But more than that, the Taj is absolutely immaculate in design. It is completely symmetrical throughout - and if you saw the sheer size and complexity of the building you'd understand how impressive this is! Walking around the grounds of the Taj is an inspiring experience. It really does make you feel small! When you look from afar at the people walking close up to the Taj, they appear ant-like in size compared to the building itself! If you take the time to really listen to the story behind the Taj, it brings the building to life. The fact that this amazing structure was built over 22 years in pure love for Shah Jahan's deceased wife is a beautiful story. The only negative side of the Taj Mahal is that is it always crowded with people, but that has to be expected in a building with fame such as the Taj Mahal. To see this monument at either sunrise or sunset is the best way to see it, as suns glow actually transforms the colour of the marble into a warm amber.
I first went to Shimla, (a town resting in the Himalayan mountains) in the peak of summer, so it was very refreshing to be on the cool mountainsides of Shimla, rather than the intense heat of Rajasthan where I live! Driving up the moutainside to reach Shimla was great! The views were breathtaking, it was one of those moments where what you are seeing with your eyes feels like something you have only ever seen on television before. I'd recommend visiting Shimla not only for the views but also to see the diversity of India. Most people see India as only a hot country, but Shimla is cool and refreshing and even has snow. Shimla was originally the summer home of the British Raj, and many reminders of the Raj can be seen there - such as the shopping mall and the church and library. The highlight of Shimla, for me, was waking up early in the morning to see the dew and clouds shift away and reveal the peak tops of the Himalayan mountains. It was so fresh!
My boyfriends village
Not necessarily my boyfriends village, but any village, is a great place to visit while touring India. To see that rural lifestyle really opened my eyes to the things I take for granted everyday, like a television/internet/washing machine etc. Though that doesn't mean we should feel sorry for them, they love their traditional way of life and strive to preserve it. They really don't want to adapt to our modern lifestyle and are happy in the comforts and peace of the village. So, outside they have fields and fields of farmland, where they keep their buffalo's and goats. They farm by trade and sell their produce in local markets. They wake up early around 5am and milk the animals, see to the land, wash the clothes, cook the food and take care of the children. They have a really busy day! In the evening, as they don't have electrical entertainment like televisions that we are used to, they talk and tell stories to each other. They sleep outside under the stars too. It's really another world from what I am used to back at home in England!
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