Starting our trip in New Delhi, my family and I traveled to see beautiful fortresses around the North of India. It was so nice to experience a culture that is so different to the UK. I chose to do this holiday with my family before I left for university as it was somewhere I was keen to go to but not alone. After travelling there I am still not comfortable enough to go back alone. The attention I got from my hair and skin colour was very uncomfortable at times. I was an alien to them, but I understand that I was a rare sight to many rural Indians.
Our first stop in hectic Delhi was the Qutb Complex. This is when the population density really hit me. There were people everywhere, the roads were filled and crazy and it was rare to take a photo without 50 other people in it.
We visited the Jama Masjid which was a very impressive building and then went to explore some local Delhi markets. Monkeys were waiting of the hundreds of telephone cables waiting to steal the food.
The Gate of India was blocked off due to protests about the release of the minor who was part of a gang rape and murder of a student from Delhi. After my visit to India I went on Netflix and watched a documentary called India’s Daughter about the attack. It is highly disturbing but a good wake up call to show the need for stronger female empowerment in India. What shocked me most in the documentary is that they interviewed the men who attacked her and they believed she deserved it for walking home past 8pm alone as a woman.
The Taj Mahal is the most wonderful building I have ever set my eyes on. No joke. It is MASSIVE. I was shocked! Honestly, any photo of it does not do it justice. You HAVE to see it for yourself. Also what I found surprising was our group was the only white tourists there! All the other tourists were Indian. Call me stupid but I just expected somewhere so iconic to have a huge diversity of tourists. The baby Taj was a bit less impressive…
I would also encourage going to the gardens on the other side the river from the Taj Mahal to see an alternative view of the insane structure.
Agra Fort is also a must see. I am much less impressed with the UK’s old, historic buildings after seeing what the Indian’s built!
Before leaving Agra,we visited another amazing site called Fatehpur Sikri. While visiting this place, there were women who are acid burn victims there. They have opened up a cafe to support women who have been victims of these violent attacks. Our guide said the main cause of these acid attacks are “failed Romeos” – these women had said they didn’t want to marry certain men and had been attacked. This made me very emotional just thinking about what these women had been through and how lucky I am to be able to reject someone and not worry about being violently attacked. The cafe they have opened in Agra is called ‘Sheroes Hangout’. If you’re ever in Agra visiting the Taj Mahal, pop in and support a crucially important cause.
The Amer Fort was such a surreal experience. A conveyer of elephants led you up to an incredible fort on top of a mountain. We soon discovered that a lot of visitors there had never seen white people before.
Jaipur is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. The majority of our stay we stayed I incredible colonial hotels, which is an experience I’ll never forget.
On our way from Jaipur to Nagaur we stopped off at a cow hospital. This gave me very mixed emotions. This was were if something happened to your cow you would send it and it return you would get two cows. There were cows with broken bones, acid burns, massive tumours etc etc. Some of these cows needed to be put down. But of course in India cows are sacred. This meant no matter how unhappy the cow was they would not kill it.They also made the first cow they ever treated on the ‘Cow God.’ They dressed it up and secluded it from the rest. Of course treating minor fractures and illness was beneficial for the animals but many of these cows deserved to be put down…
We woke up super early to catch the sunrise but travelling on camels to the top of a sand dune! (Bit random I know but…)
The city painted blue. ANOTHER incredible fortress.
The city of lakes.