Just returned from a 2-week trip to India. It was amazing! Although I have to admit I was a bit peeved that I left a snow-covered freezing February in NY for sunny India and it turned out we had a heat wave at home. On the plus side, Chris cleaned out the chicken coop for me. So really, a win.
The India trip was a bit whirlwind as we covered several cities and saw a whole lot of history. Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, and back to Delhi. Given that most of these cities are 5 or so hours apart, we spent a lot of time looking at countryside on the way to amazing monuments and historic sites.
Delhi is quite commercial and modern. Although I did find it odd to see monkeys living in the trees and medians. Not a typical sight in the US. We were warned quite seriously not to feed them. In fact, not to even walk with food in our hand as they'd come and steal it. Quite aggressive, these monkeys. In addition to monkeys and shops, there are temples everywhere. And they are beautiful. One had a massive kitchen where two meals per day are prepared and shared with pilgrims, the poor, or people just wanting to get a meal. Run by the temple and staffed with volunteers, it was amazing to see.
|Pots in the "soup kitchen"|
|Exterior wall of Red Fort|
|The mosque at the Taj - they still have services on Fridays|
|The Taj - crazy beautiful|
In Jaipur we got to experience an elephant ride that took us up the hill to the top of another fort and palace combo.
|Looking down on a garden|
You may have heard of India's holy cows. I can tell you that cattle wander freely through city streets and traffic simply accommodates them.
|Surprisingly common traffic scene|
|One of the few photos we managed to take of a camel|
In all, a great trip. My biggest impression? Sadly, it is to say that it's incredibly dirty there. A substantial amount of air pollution and soil erosion. Litter in the streets. Noise pollution from honking horns. Fortunately, they are working to correct these issues. For example, they've switched to woven bags instead of plastic when you make a purchase and are making strides toward green energy sources. Good to hear about some positive strides.